Burundi leaders warned to stop inciting mass violence

2015-11-07 13:31
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The international community has condemned Burundi's government for inciting violence amid a deteriorating security situation in the country and expressed alarm at a number of apparent summary executions.

President Pierre Nkurunziza has announced a Saturday deadline for people to hand over illegal firearms or be treated as enemies of the state in a bid, the government says, to stem months of violence and protests over his election to a third term in office this year.

Critics have warned the move could "trigger widespread violence" if security forces start searching homes for weapons and opposition figures.

UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said on Friday that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon "is alarmed by the ongoing escalation of violence".

"The recurring violence and killings in Burundi must stop. The secretary general underlines the responsibility of the Burundian authorities to protect the civilian population, regardless of political affiliation, and ensure that the widespread impunity for these heinous acts is brought to an immediate end.

"The secretary general also condemns public statements that appear aimed at inciting violence or hatred towards different groups in Burundian society."

Ban's statement came hours after the son of prominent Burundian human rights defender Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa was killed, reportedly after he was arrested by police in the capital Bujumbura. 

International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said on Friday that anybody who incited acts of mass violence in Burundi was "liable to prosecution before the court" in The Hague.


RELATED: Death, murder, and fear in post-elections Burundi


"Should any conduct in Burundi amount to war crimes, no one should doubt my resolve... that the perpetrators do not go unpunished," Bensouda said.

Read more on:    burundi  |  east africa
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