Burundians protest against UN report on human rights violations

Burundians Saturday held demonstrations nationwide to protest against a recent report by three United Nations independent investigators on "abundant evidence of gross human rights violations in the country".

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UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

Demonstrators were holding the Burundian national flag and banners, saying that the experts “lied and partial” as they did not talk to Burundian government officials.

“The report is full of lies. They were told big lies and they accepted them, but did not verify the lies with the (Burundian) government authorities,” said Burundian National Assembly Speaker Pascal Nyabenda at Mubimbi, Bujumbura Rural province.

According to him, some Burundians living in exile are responsible for all those “fabrications.”

The three UN independent experts had been to Burundi twice in March and June this year. The third visit due this month was however cancelled for security reasons.

The report, issued on Sept. 20 in Geneva, covers a period ranging from April 15, 2015 to June 30, 2016, and fears the possibility of a “genocide (in Burundi) if preventive measures are not taken”.

According to the report, executions have been committed on a large scale by security forces, often supported by the ruling party’s youth wing known as Imbonerakure, adding that the majority of the victims were opposed, or perceived to be opposed, to the third term of Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza.

Burundi plunged into a crisis since April 2015 when Burundian Nkurunziza decided to run his controversial third term.

More than 500 people in Burundi have been killed and some 270,000 people fled to neighboring countries since the outbreak of the crisis. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/News Ghana

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