Burundi rejects UN Proposal to search for Perpetrators of Violence and Human Right abuse

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The Burundian government has rejected the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution to commence investigations into alleged human rights abuses in the country.

The top U.N. human rights forum agreed to set up a commission of inquiry to identify perpetrators of the ongoing violence, killings and torture as recommended in a report by Independent investigators. The council said the mandate of the commission is to ensure that they are brought to justice.

However, a statement issued by Burundi said “Members of the UN Human Rights Council sitting in Geneva, Switzerland worked on a biased report whose goal was to pave the way for a resolution,”

Investigators said they found that “gross human rights violations have and are taking place” in the East Africa member country and has been committed by State agents.

The report which reviewed the period between April 2015 to June 2016 says even though the level of overt violence has declined, the overall level of oppression and control over the society has increased, manifested by arbitrary deprivations of life, enforced disappearances coupled with credible allegations of unacknowledged places of detention, in addition to cases of torture, other forms of ill-treatment and arbitrary detention on a massive scale.

Burundi government spokesperson Philippe Nzobonariba said the government has taken note of the resolution, but accused the European Union (EU) to be behind the resolution.

“It is clear that the draft resolution was prepared and proposed by the EU that took ownership of a report made on Sept. 9, 2016 by three experts calling themselves UN independent investigators. The report was itself biased,” said Nzobonariba in the statement.

He indicated that the resolution is aimed at destabilizing Burundi.

Nzobonariba said, “The Burundian government gave responses to the UN Human Rights Council on time, but it is regrettable that that they were not taken into consideration in the resolution adopted last week.”

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.

Meanwhile, the Burundian government said that the UN independent experts only focused their assignment on wrong information provided by anonymous testimonies instead of doing a real research.

Nzobonariba indicated that the Burundian government remains committed to cooperating with the international community, particularly the UN in the strict respect of independence and sovereignty of UN member states.

Burundi plunged in a crisis since April 2015 when Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run his controversial third term in violation of the national constitution and the 2000 Arusha Agreement.

More than 500 people in Burundi have been killed and some 270,000 people fled to neighboring countries mostly Tanzania, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda since the outbreak of the crisis.

Credit: Xinhua/ East Africa Daily Reporter