Burundi buried suspects without notifying families

2016-03-11 05:36
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

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

Bujumbura - Burundi's attorney general acknowledged on Thursday that the government buried dozens of suspected rebels who died after attacks on four military bases without notifying their families, but fell short of admitting the existence of mass graves.

Human rights groups have accused the Burundi government of trying to hide the extent of the killings during the December 11 attacks by burying bodies in mass graves.

Valentin Bagorikunda said that out of 87 people who died, the government buried 58 bodies of suspected rebels. Eight of those killed in the attacks were security officials, he said.

He said the 58 were buried in what he called "official graves" in Kanyosha in the south of Bujumbura and Mpanda in the Bubanza province in the west of Burundi.

At least 400 people have died in Burundi since April when President Pierre Nkurunziza launched his campaign for a third term in office which many oppose. Nkurunziza was re-elected in July even as Burundi experienced violent street protests, a failed coup, and assassinations.

Burundi has had a long history of violence including civil wars and four successful coups. The international community fears that the current turmoil could unravel more than a decade of relative peace.

Amnesty International said in January that before-and-after satellite images and video footage clearly show five possible mass graves in the Buringa area on the outskirts of Bujumbura.

"The imagery, dating from late December and early January, shows disturbed earth consistent with witness accounts," Amnesty said in a statement.

Witnesses have said the graves were dug on the afternoon of December 11 in the immediate aftermath "of the bloodiest day of Burundi's escalating crisis," it added.

"These images suggest a deliberate effort by the authorities to cover up the extent of the killings by their security forces and to prevent the full truth from coming out," said Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International's Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

Bagorikunda declined to answer questions on Amnesty's claim.

Read more on:    amnesty international  |  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.

Inside News24

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.