Burundi rejects UN accusation of human rights abuses
Burundi’s ambassador to Geneva, Rénovat Tabu, has rejected findings from a UN commission that allege serious ongoing human rights abuses in the country.
In a briefing to the UN Human Rights Council, president of the commission of inquiry on Burundi, Doudou Diène, said human rights violations have been ongoing since May 2018 when a referendum approved constitutional changes that could allow President Pierre Nkurunziza to rule until 2034.
Burundi rejects rights abuse allegations
According to the briefing delivered by Doudou Diène to the UN, “the situation in Burundi remains a cause for concern.”
“Men and women are victims of numerous and frequent human rights violations, simply for exercising their democratic rights when protesting against the third mandate of President Nkurunziza, refusing to adhere to the ruling party, opposing the revision of the Constitution, for being a member of an opposition party or being close to one of those persons,” he said.
However, Burundi’s ambassador to Geneva, Rénovat Tabu, dismissed the findings in a statement released by local media, calling the allegations “lies from far away”.
Burundi descended into political chaos in April 2015 when Pierre Nkurunziza announced he would run for a third term as president. Following a spate of human rights violations and targeted killings, Burundi’s government averted civil war but the rights abuses continue, according to multiple investigations conducted by rights groups.
InMay 2018, Burundi voted 70% in favour of constitutional changes that extend presidential term limits from five to seven years and effectively allow President Piere Nkurunziza to run in the country’s next two presidential elections, potentially extending his rule until 2034.
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