157/96 : Association pour la sauvegarde de la paix au Burundi / Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zaire (DRC), Zambia Summary of Facts 1. The communication was submitted by the Association pour la sauvegarde de la paix au Burundi (ASP-Burundi, Association for the Preservation of Peace in Burundi), a [NGO] based in Belgium. The communication pertains to the embargo imposed on Burundi by Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo), Ethiopia, and Zambia following the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Burundi and the installation of a government led by retired military ruler, Major Pierre Buyoya with the support of the military. 2. The Respondent States cited in the communication are all in the Great Lakes region, neighbouring Burundi and therefore have an interest in peace and stability in their region. At the summit of the Great st Lakes Summit held in Arusha, Tanzania on 31 July 1996 following the unconstitutional change of government in Burundi, a resolution was adopted imposing an embargo on Burundi. The resolution was later supported by the UN Security Council and by the OAU. All except the Federal Republic of Ethiopia were, at the time of the submission of the communication, state parties to the African Charter. th Ethiopia acceded to the African Charter on 17 June 1998. Complaint 3. The Complainant claims that the embargo violates:     Article 4 of the African Charter, because it prevented the importation of essential goods such as fuel required for purification of water and the preservation of drugs; and prevented the exportation of tea and coffee, which are the country‟s only sources of revenue; Article 17.1 of the African Charter, because the embargo prevented the importation of school materials; Article 22 of the African Charter, because the embargo prevented Burundians from having access to means of transportation by air and sea; Article 23.2.b of the African Charter, because Tanzania, Zaire and Kenya sheltered and supported terrorist militia. 4. The communication also alleges violation of Articles 3(1), (2) and (3) of the http://www.africaunion.org/root/au/Documents/Treaties/text/OAU_Charter_1963.pdf] OAU Charter, because the embargo constitutes interference in the internal affairs of Burundi. Procedure th 5. The communication is dated 18 September 1996 and was received at the Secretariat on th 30 September 1996. th 6. At its 20 Session, held in October 1996 in Grand Bay, Mauritius, the [African] Commission decided to be seized of the communication. th 7. On 10 December 1996, the Secretariat sent copies of the communication to the Ugandan, Kenyan, Tanzanian, Zambian, Zairian and Rwandan governments. th 8. On 12 December 1996, a letter was sent to the Complainant indicating that the admissibility of st the communication would be considered at the 21 Session. st 9. At its 21 Session, held in April 1997, the [African] Commission decided to be seized of the communication and deferred consideration of its admissibility to the following session. It also requested the Respondent States Parties to send in their comments within the stipulated deadline. nd 10. At its 22 Session, the [African] Commission declared the communication admissible and asked the Secretariat to obtain clarification on the terms of the embargo imposed on Burundi from the Secretary General of the OAU. The Respondent States Parties were also, once again, requested to

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