Call for UN to intervene in Burundi

2015-07-16 18:56
Jean Claude Niyonzima, a suspected member of the ruling party's Imbonerakure youth militia, sits under soldiers. (Jerome Delay, AP)

Jean Claude Niyonzima, a suspected member of the ruling party's Imbonerakure youth militia, sits under soldiers. (Jerome Delay, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Geneva - The UN Security Council must intervene in Burundi to prevent mass atrocities and the risk of a regional conflict, seven independent UN human rights investigators said on Thursday.

Looming presidential elections, at the heart of a political crisis in the east African country, were likely to trigger major instability and clashes which could spread across its borders, the experts said in a statement.

Opposition politicians have accused Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza of violating the constitution by running for a third term and are boycotting the vote due on July 21.

Dozens of people have already died in protests in the world's third poorest country which emerged from civil war in 2005. Hundreds of thousands have fled to other states with a history of ethnic conflict including neighbouring Rwanda.

"The international community must not simply stand by and wait for mass atrocities to unfold, thereby risking a major conflict of regional proportions before it finally decides to act," they said.

The Security Council must "take immediate action to prevent Burundi from sliding back into conflict," they added, without going into detail on what action they wanted it to take.

Imbonerakure

Nkurunziza and his ruling party cite a constitutional court ruling allowing him to stand again. The government did not immediately respond to the statement but has said the vote will be fair and dismissed rights groups' accusations it is arming the Imbonerakure youth militia to crack down on dissent.

The president has resisted calls from Washington and other major donors not to stand and regional powers have asked Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni to mediate.

The experts said there had been efforts to coerce the judiciary, some of whom had fled the world's third poorest country saying their lives were at risk, while armed militias were using violence against civilians.

"This is a crisis that is eminently preventable - everyone can see the risks," said the seven who each hold a mandate from the UN Human Rights Council to investigate different areas of human rights.

"This can escalate into major conflict through the use of outright repression against, and intimidation of, the population at large, the instrumentalisation of the police, the closure of independent media, as well as the detention of the opposition and other civic leaders," they added.

Read more on:    un security council  |  imbonerakure  |  pierre nkurunziza  |  burundi  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.