Call for “robust” action to end Burundi violence

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A call for "robust" measures against Burundi that could lead to international sanctions or peacekeepers has been made by independent UN investigators, who've published evidence alleging gross human rights violations by the government.

Announcing their findings on Tuesday, the United Nations Independent Investigation in Burundi (UNIIB) said that the state-led abuse possibly amounted to crimes against humanity.

Daniel Johnson has more.

The report on Burundi requested by the UN Human Rights Council follows violence and insecurity in the African country, linked to President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision to stand for a third term in office.

Nearly 400,000 people are now believed displaced as a result of the instability which began in April last year.

Included in the report are details of large-scale executions committed by security forces, mainly against people who were opposed to the presidential third mandate.

Also implicated are the ruling party's youth wing, known as the Imbonerakure, along with a former senior military figure, who confirmed the existence of lists of people to be eliminated by security forces.

Citing evidence of mass graves, enforced disappearances and torture in unofficial detention centres, the report's authors also warn against ethnically divisive rhetoric used by the Government.

They also caution that the situation risks spilling over into neighbouring countries and have called to the UN Security Council to consider sanctions or a peacekeeping force, if the violence continues and authorisation is not given for the deployment of a UN police force.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva

Duration: 1'15"


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