ESTABLISHMENT OF THE TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) has its source from the Arusha Agreement between political actors in Burundi on 28 August 2000. It is stated in the Agreement that “there is established of a national commission called the National Commission for Truth and reconciliation. This commission will establish the truth regarding the painful acts of violence committed during the cyclical conflicts that have devastated the country from independence date (1 July 1962) to the date of signing the Arusha peace Agreement.
The temporal space (given the Commission) that was specified in the Arusha Agreement was changed by Act No. 1/18 of 15 May 2014 on the establishment, mandate, composition, organization and functioning of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. This law states that the mandate of the TRC is 1 July 1962 to the date of signing of the cease-fire agreement with the PALIPEHUTU-FNL (2008). The same law stipulates in its Article 6, paragraph 1, the mandate of the TRC is that of conducting investigations to establish the truth about “the serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.”
Pursuant to Law No. 1/18 of 15 May 2014 on the establishment, mandate, composition, organization and functioning of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a call for applications to be Commissioner of the TRC was launched by the National Assembly and a Parliamentary commission was appointed in September 2014 to preselect 33 among the 725 applications received. It is in these 33 applications that Parliament could nominate 11 Commissioners whose names follow:
President: Archbishop Jean-Louis Nahimana, born in 1964 originally from Bujumbura.
Vice President: Bishop Bernard in Ntahoturi in 1948 from the province of Bururi.
General Secretary: Me Niragira Clotilde, born in 1968 from the province of Kayanza.
Dr. Didace Kiganahe, born in 1960 from the province of Bujumbura.
Hon.Libérate Nicayenzi, born in 1957 from the province of Mwaro.
Bishop Pierre Antoine Madaraga, born in 1953 from the province of Kayanza.
Bishop Onésiphore Nzigo 1951 from the province of Gitega.
Hon.Pascasie Nkinahamira, born in 1959 from the province of Rutana.
Bizimana Clotilde, born in 1964, native of Gitega.
Sheikh Ali Shabani Djumaine born in 1960 originally from Bujumbura.
These 11 personalities have been appointed by the President of the Republic as members of the TRC through Decree No. 100/286 of 8 December 2014. The Commissioners sworn in on December 10 2014.
The first thing by which the TRC members started to do was retreat in which they were able to define the vision and objectives in the short and medium term.
 Point a) of Article 8 of Chapter II in Protocol I on the nature of the Burundian conflict, genocide and exclusion problems and solutions, Arusha Peace Agreement and Reconciliation in Burundi of 28 August 2009.
TRC VISION AND OBJECTIVES
“Through mutual listening and empathy faculties cultivated in them throughout the process of seeking the truth, Burundians have on their traumatic past, their fellow citizens and the causes of their past difficulties of the human eyes, impartial, soothed and more close to each other. They draw a clearly increased capacity and transformed the political and social compromise that lays the foundation for social stability and sustained policy “.
1. Overall objective
Promote a policy, sustainable economic and social stabilization of Burundi in contributing to the search for truth on the serious violence of the past by promoting their reading and comprehension close and empathetic by Burundians and by proposing and supporting the implementation of reconciliation measures and reforms that soothe and heal minds and troubled hearts and restore Burundian society on the path of change and equal progress, stable and dynamic.
2. Strategic Objectives
The following goals are part of the strategy in the sense that they propose structuring and prioritizing the work of the TRC, facing the potential danger (i) a profusion of cases filed for investigation request and (ii) of the dispersion the commission’s efforts. The objectives defined too vague and impersonal the drawback of not giving real orientations and priorities to members of the TRC. They thus tend to disperse without orders to multiple poles of action. In the end, it often proves costly in time and money, which is for more concrete results which are difficult to identify.
The strategic objectives are located with respect:
- The mission of the TRC;
- The organization of the TRC.
1) With the active participation of actors and contemporary witnesses and assistance and expert lighting, headlights political events of the contemporary history of Burundi are subject to search inclusive and open debate that enable:
a good knowledge of the key data of the political, social, economic and cultural that preceded and accompanied the unrest in Burundi, particularly in 1965, 1972, 1988 and 1993;
reconstruct and bring out with the greatest possible precision the nature of the decisions and the chain of decisions and responsibility in triggering the facts and in the events management that followed.
2) Within a batch of 2 000 cases selected for investigation and hearings of the TRC at least 50 emblematic cases of serious human rights violations and / or eminent humanitarian actions are handpicked and depth in their examination to promote collective and didactic way a conscious awareness and greater understanding of Burundi:
on attitudes individual and group behavior within the governed populations, leading sometimes the best and sometimes the worst;
the moods and attitudes within the ruling class, ruling or opposition, leading to the best and the worst.
3) inspired particularly initiatives already observed in the field and sociopolitical experience of Burundi, designing and driving one or reconciliation programs that:
were developed after formal consultation with a representative group of victims, if possible and appropriate, with the assistance of organizations and independent associations close to them or working with them with dynamism and ethics;
provide material compensation, including compensation (cash payments or other) and services (including education, health, housing, etc. evaluated in ascending order of munificence; provide symbolic reparations, such as official and solemn apologies, the renaming of public spaces, the establishment of days of commemoration, the creation of museums and parks dedicated to the memory of the victims;
provide rehabilitation measures, if necessary, to restore in some victims their “citizenship status” to rehabilitate (through public statements about their innocence, radiation criminal records and return of passports, maps electoral and other documents) include, where appropriate, collective reparations measures such as this concept is defined by the TRC:
were the subject of a gender-specific extension program; stimulate the contribution and significant participation of the author alleged to repair action; stimulate the contribution and participation of the whole community in the remedial action;
Burundian pushing the state or the local community to take leading roles in the design and implementation of repair projects;
contribute to strengthening the status and position of women collectively and sustainably;
encourage acts of solidarity among victims from all ethnic backgrounds and gender;
provide a structure to facilitate access to services, especially for people whose attitudes victim of precisely expose them to disadvantages compared to overly strict conditions (short registration deadlines, closed lists, too high standards of proof to establish the fact of violation creating a victim, etc.), if they were asked for access to benefits;
cover victims of serious violations of civil and political rights but also the victims of grave violations of economic and social rights why the victims of some violations could reach pre repairs and other non
4) Design, implement and facilitate, through the mandate of the TRC and its outcome, a framework for action and dialogue that encourages participation and contribution of all reconciliation initiatives Burundians. To this end, it may inspire particular (i) the evolution and nature of the “request for reconciliation” which arises from the context of operation of the TRC and (ii) the opportunities that each situation and each case to present an action for reconciliation in the short, medium or long term.
5) Build the information and evidence gathered throughout its mandate to make recommendations in order to contribute to the rewriting of the most widely Burundian history.
b. strategic objectives in organizational matters
1) Promote to i) the priority beneficiaries of the TRC within the population, ii) government, administration and Burundian services and iii) bilateral and multilateral technical and financial partners of the State of Burundi and knowledge of a public perception of the TRC who value its mission and its capacity to operate in the sociopolitical context of changing Burundi
2) Organize and distribute the work of the TRC effectively and efficiently so as to make it both accessible and capable of reflecting a truth that covers the reality of the whole country, with the best economy of means available.
3) Organize an effective and consistent distribution of roles within the TRC (members and staff) and arouse the same time the involvement of other national actors in the achievement of its mission to (i) create the conditions for sustainability of its work and results and (i) to streamline the time and resources of the TRC.