20 April 2017

Burundi: Ethnic Cleansing Shoots up in Burundi

Bujumbura — THE United Nations is alarmed at the escalating violation of human rights in Burundi, where a major increase in enforced disappearance and discovery of dozens of unidentified bodies has been noted since the beginning of the year. This coincided with Imbonerakure, the rogue youth of the ruling party, fanning hate speech, violence and rape of government critics. UN high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, expressed fear at widespread rallies across the country where the young men repeatedly chant a call to impregnate or kill opponents. The envoy said organized nature of the marches, coupled with ongoing human rights violations, laid bare a campaign of terror waged in the East African country. "The grotesque rape chants by the young men of the Imbonerakure across several provinces in various parts of Burundi are deeply alarming particularly because they confirm what we have been hearing from those who have fled Burundi about a campaign of fear and terror by this organized militia," Al Hussein said. The UN commission has received reports of grave violations, including systematic use of torture by security forces and nightly raids by the Imbonerakure into the homes of people who refuse to join the ruling Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy (CNDD-FDD). "We have also received numerous reports alleging that people are being targeted due to their ethnicity," said Al Hussein. The high commissioner asked Burundi to grant the UN Human Rights Office access to monitor the human rights situation and independently verify allegations of grave violations. Between April 2015 and April 2017, UN figures indicate that 401 573 people have fled persecution in Burundi. Over100 people have been killed. The country descended into bloodshed in 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced a bid for a disputed third term.


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