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.

Featured image:By Wilfried Huss / Anonymous – Flag of the United Nations from the Open Clip Art website. Modifications by Denelson83, Zscout370 and Madden. Official construction sheet here.United Nations (1962) The United Nations flag code and regulations, as amended November 11, 1952, New York OCLC: 7548838., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=437460


About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.