UN says Burundi still torturing and killing opponents

2017-06-15 20:57
iStock

iStock

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

Nairobi- Burundi security forces and government-allied militia are continuing to torture and kill opponents, UN investigators said on Thursday, allegations denied by the government.

The investigators from the UN's Commission of Inquiry on Burundi have been denied entry to the country said there was a "feeling of deep and widespread fear" in more than 470 testimonies gathered from people who had fled to neighbouring countries.

"Today we can say that our initial fears concerning the scope and gravity of human rights violations and abuses in Burundi since April 2015 have been confirmed," the investigators said in a briefing to the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday.

Burundi's government angrily rejected the allegations. "We do not accept the content of this report," said the country's human rights minister Martin Nivyabandi.

"This report had only one objective, to send certain senior Burundian officials to The Hague," where the International Criminal Court (ICC) is headquartered, "and to exclude Burundi as a member of the Human Rights Council," he said, demanding the UN, "respect the sovereignty of Burundi."

Burundi was thrown into a political crisis in April 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run for a third term that his opponents said was unconstitutional.

Since then at least 500 people have been killed while over 400 000 have fled the country.

The commission of inquiry, established in September 2016, is tasked with concluding whether any should be held accountable for alleged violations of international humanitarian law and crimes against humanity.

The investigators said on Thursday that both state security agencies and the ruling party youth wing, the Imbonerakure which is considered a militia by the UN, were engaged in torture, rape, disappearances and murder "fuelled by hate speech" from officials.

"We were struck by the particularly cruel and brutal nature of the violations described to us," the investigators said, citing the use of clubs, rifle butts, bayonets, iron bars, metal chains, electric cables, needles, pliers to rip out nails, burns and violent abuse of especially male genitals.

They also bemoaned the "total impunity" enjoyed by perpetrators in Burundi.

The commission's final report is due to be presented to the Human Rights Council in September.

Read more on:    un  |  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

 
/World
 

For the love of Corgis!

WATCH: 35 Corgi's to make your day! If they’re good enough for the Queen of England they’re good enough for us.

 
 

Paws

Can we communicate with our pets?
8 great natural remedies for your pet
Buying a puppy? Don’t get scammed!
WATCH: These funny animal videos will make you LOL!
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.