UN Accuses Burundi of Crimes Against Humanity

Fredrick Ngugi Sep 26, 2016 at 02:44pm

September 26, 2016 at 02:44 pm | News

Fredrick Ngugi

Fredrick Ngugi | Contributor

September 26, 2016 at 02:44 pm | News

A group of Burundian protesters light up bonfires on the streets. Info Box Daily

The Burundian government has been committing serious human rights violations, with some amounting to crimes against humanity, according to a report released by UN investigators.

In the report, investigators claim the government of Burundi is behind many of the serious abuses that have been and are being committed against Burundians since civil unrest broke out last year.

Responding swiftly to the report, Burundi accused UN investigators of being one-sided and “politically motivated,” adding that the UN’s conclusions are based on anonymous and unverified sources, according to Al Jazeera.

“UN Human Rights did not respect the usual rules by releasing the report without the response of the government of Burundi,” Willy Nyamitwe, the President’s Communications chief said.

 How Accurate

The UN Human Rights Council appointed three independent investigators in January to look in to the claims of human rights violations in Burundi.

Last Tuesday, the investigators released a report, entitled, “UN Independent Investigation on Burundi,” where they criticize President Pierre Nkurunziza’s government for its alleged role in the ongoing violence.

“Gross human rights violations have and are taking place, committed primarily by state agents and those linked to them,” the investigators reveal.

At least 564 cases of execution reported between April 26, 2015, and August 30, 2016, have been verified by the UN Human Rights office.

The report claims that there was enough evidence of rape, mass arrests, forced disappearances, torture, and murder mostly against those who were opposed to President Nkurunziza’s third term.

The investigators also revealed that a former senior army officer in Burundi told them that the government has a list of people it wants to eliminate.

Other witnesses said they were held and tortured by government agents at the homes of the President and a government minister.

However, the Burundian government has vehemently denied these allegations, saying they are meant to cause division and panic among security agents.

Since April 2015, Burundi has been submerged in deadly civil unrest after President Nkurunziza decided to run for a controversial third term against the constitution, which only allows a maximum of two presidential terms.

The violence has left hundreds of people dead and millions displaced from their homes.

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