ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda in what would be seen as a thanksgiving gift to rights defenders said Wednesday that her office will continue with preliminary investigations into Burundi.
“We will continue to do our work with respect to what we have started in Burundi,” she said. “It’s an obligation under the Rome Statute until the one-year notification period ends.”
Burundi has said it will not cooperate with the court to investigate the violence that erupted in and around the capital Bujumbura over the election of President Pierre Nkurunziza.
If during that time, prosecutors determine that crimes must be formally investigated, Burundi would be obligated to cooperate with the court, according to Bensouda.
Since April, the ICC has been examining acts of killing, imprisonment, torture, rape and enforced disappearance. Since last year, more than 430 people were reportedly killed, at least 3,400 people arrested and over 230,000 Burundians displaced.
(Reporting by Sainey MK Marenah in The Hague, Netherlands; Writing by Sam Phatey; Editing by Alhagie Jobe)