Dangerous to leave issue of human rights "undecided" in Burundi

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Pablo de Grieff. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard.

It would be dangerous to leave the issue of human rights "undecided" in Burundi, a member of a UN independent investigation panel on Burundi (UNIB) has said.

Pablo de Greiff, the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence ended an eight-day visit to the East African nation, along with two of his counterparts.

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

The UN Human Rights Council appointed the probe team last December to verify alleged violations and abuses of human rights in Burundi.

A political crisis triggered by Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision to run for a controversial third term last year, has claimed at least 400 lives and caused 250,000 to flee to neighbouring States with many others internally displaced.

Mr Greiff underscored that it was important for the country to gain clarity about the human rights violations that have taken place since the crisis started.

"Uncertainty about them makes it possible for the issue to become the subject of partisan politics. So in addition to the fact that the victims have a right to truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, there is some danger involved in letting the issue of human rights undecided."

The experts met with government officials, including one of the country's two Vice Presidents, along with political leaders, civil society groups, and victims of human rights violations.

The team is expected to brief the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on their visit to Burundi on 21 March.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration : 1’20″

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