Politics

Burundi: “UN report will change nothing on Burundi”, says Home Affairs Assistant

Following 160 interviews carried out on Burundi in 2018, added to 500 conducted last year, Doudou Diène, new Chairman of the commission of Inquiry on Burundi has declared in front of the Human Rights Council, this 13 March, that the situation remains similar to that observed last year.

Thérence Ntahiraja: “The UN Commission report on Burundi is biased since it contains false information and fabrications”

Thérence Ntahiraja: “The UN Commission report on Burundi is biased since it contains false information and fabrications”

Doudou Diène denounced the arbitrary arrests and detentions, cases of tortures and disappearances as well as non-respect of the right to a fair trial. “In Burundi, opponents of the referendum vote scheduled for May 2018 are arrested and victims of summary executions”, says Mr. Diène.

For the UN commission, many Burundians are reported being harassed or abused because they are suspected they will vote “no” in the referendum or refusing to register on the electoral roll for the poll. “Some people have also reported a multiplication of contributions requested from the population, sometimes under duress by either officials or Imbonerakure youths”, he says.

Françoise Hampson, member of the Commission of Inquiry says the commission has received a lot of information and collected several testimonies of cases of harassment and violence perpetrated by government officials or those ruling party youths. “People interviewed by the Commission have pointed out that failure to provide proof of enrollment could have an impact on access to services, including health care, and beyond,” she says.

These cases, she says, are added to other human rights violations which confirm the trends already documented by the commission last year.

Thérence Ntahiraja, Assistant to and Spokesperson for the Ministry of Home Affairs says the report of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Burundi is biased since it contains false information and fabrications. “Everybody knows that the UN team is in league with the coup plotters of May 2015 who have their own objectives”, he says.

Ntahiraja says if there is a person running for sensitization campaigns to vote ‘no’ or ‘yes’ before the fixed time they must be punished following the electoral code “I am aware of two people from Muyinga Province who were arrested but now they are free”, he says.

The Home Affairs Assistant says the UN Commission report is false and means nothing even if 160 people were interviewed. “We know that the members of the commission never met them. They copied and pasted what they had heard around. Even if they would say they met 5000 Burundians, it’s up to them, nothing will change on Burundi”, says Ntahiraja. For him, the UN Secretary General would not consider such reports on Burundi.

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