Rights groups urge UN sanctions for Burundi officials

2017-03-08 21:58
iStock

iStock

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

Nairobi - Rights groups on Wednesday urged the UN Security Council to impose "targeted sanctions" on Burundian officials over alleged human rights violations there, in an open letter published online.

The letter, penned by Human Rights Watch and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) among others, was published on the eve of a meeting of the UN's top decision-making body to discuss the crisis in the Great Lakes nation.

"We... write to urge the UN Security Council to impose targeted sanctions against individuals responsible for ongoing serious human rights violations in Burundi," the 19 international and local rights group said.

"Such measures, including travel bans and asset freezes, would send an important message to Burundian leaders who have faced little consequence for continuing to perpetrate gross abuses against their own people," the statement added.

The United States and the European Union have already imposed sanctions on officials from the Burundian regime. Stalled by a Chinese and Russian veto, however, the UN Security Council has not followed suit.

The Burundian authorities "have continued their broader policy of repression against suspected opponents, independent civil society, and media, and they have deliberately obstructed the ability of the UN to document rights violations", the NGOs wrote.

They also accused the ruling party's youth militia of having "killed, tortured, raped, and severely beaten scores of people across the country".

The UN's special adviser on preventing genocide, Adama Dieng, meanwhile warned of "mass atrocities" in Burundi and called on the UN Security Council to take "robust action" to quell the violence, in a letter to the body's members seen on Wednesday by AFP.

Burundi's ambassador to the UN Albert Shingiro lashed out at Dieng's letter, branding it in a tweet "a theatrical show aimed at influencing the UN Security Council briefing".

He also said his east African country was facing "diplomatic harassment".

Hundreds of people have died in violence in Burundi triggered by President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision in April 2015 to stand in elections for a third term in office, which he went on to win.

A September report by UN rights experts recounted spine-chilling cases of torture and horrific sexual violence, mass arrests and disappearances and warned that "the crime of genocide also looms large".

More than 390,000 people have fled the country, and that figure is expected to surpass 500 000 this year, according to the UN refugee agency.

Read more on:    un  |  rms  |  hrw  |  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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
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.