U.S. Condemns Assassination of Jean Bikomagu and Calls for Renewed Dialogue (August 18, 2015)

August 18, 2015

The United States condemns the murder of retired Colonel Jean Bikomagu in Bujumbura Saturday and continues to urge calm and restraint in the aftermath of this most recent attack. We call for an independent, credible investigation into this and other recent attacks and underscore our commitment to helping seek accountability for individuals from all sides who perpetrate or instigate human rights abuses in Burundi. We also call on all sides to immediately renounce violence as a means to gain political goals and to redouble their efforts to promptly engage in a transparent, inclusive, comprehensive, and externally mediated political dialogue leading to peace.  Restoration of dialogue is urgent, and all parties must work together in pursuit of consensus and a peaceful path forward for the people of Burundi.

Moving forward, all sides must maintain the foundational values of respect for human rights, freedom of the press and other fundamental freedoms. All sides should also draw from the spirit and letter of the Arusha Agreement and its power-sharing provisions as a basis for moving forward peacefully.  We urge the National Assembly and government to commit to upholding the Arusha Agreement and not roll back important provisions that are the basis of stability in Burundi.