UN wants to send experts for Burundi mass graves probe

2016-02-11 09:14


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

New York - The United Nations wants to send independent forensics experts to Burundi to help authorities investigate allegations of mass graves in the strife-torn country, a senior official said on Wednesday.

After a government security crackdown in December, witnesses came forward with accounts of at least nine mass graves in and around Bujumbura including one in a military camp where more than 100 bodies were allegedly buried.

Corpses were allegedly dumped in grave sites by police who had carried out raids in Bujumbura, arresting and shooting young men in response to a December 11 attack by gunmen on three military barracks.

UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic told reporters that a Burundian prosecutor had opened an investigation of the alleged mass graves and that the United Nations had offered to help.

"Somebody has to dig those mass graves. We would like to be present when this is done and we are offering to provide forensics experts," Simonovic said.

The government, which has dismissed the allegations, has not responded to the UN offer for experts to be on site for the excavations.

UN human rights officials are examining satellite imagery of the alleged mass graves and pressing the government to act quickly to shed light on the allegations.

Burundi has been in turmoil since President Pierre Nkurunziza announced plans in April to run for a third term, which he went on to win.

More than 400 people have died in the violence and at least 230,000 have fled the country.

UN Security Council ambassadors traveled to Burundi last month to urge Nkurunziza to open up serious negotiations with the opposition and agree to an international presence.

The mission was aimed at preventing a slide toward ethnic killings in Burundi between Hutus and Tutsis, similar to the violence that led to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

Read more on:    burundi  |  east africa  |  security

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.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

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


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.


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.