Human Right

Bujumbura dismisses UN report on Burundi as “political”

On 22 September, Burundi’s Ministry in charge of Human Rights slammed a report by the United Nations as unverified and lacking credibility.

Demonstrators waving placards

Demonstrators waving placards

“The UN experts collected unverified information and did not mention sources for their report’s credibility”, deplores Martin Nivyabandi, the Minister of National Solidarity, Gender and Human Rights. He said that the UN experts toured Burundi and saw plenty of positive work but they didn’t mention anywhere the progress observed on the ground. “During their stay in Burundi, the UN experts met different officials of Public institutions involved in the Human Rights, but unfortunately, the report did not take into consideration improvements on the ground. This UN investigation is a political report rather than being technical”, the Minister said.

He went on to say that the UNIIB had collected information from other reports published by other organizations. Burundi is not a paradise, he said: “Like other countries, human rights are deteriorating in Burundi. Dead bodies are discovered in Rivers. These are facts, we could not deny it, but the investigations are underway to identify the authors of these atrocities.”

The Minister criticized the UN report for accusing the Imbonerakure youths of these atrocities.
While the UN report recorded between 26 April 2015 and 30 August 2016 , 564 cases of executions, the Minister said that the real figures were lower, but did not say exactly how what. “More details about it will be revealed on 27 September during the interactive talks on Human Rights in Geneva. And the social issues are not included in the human rights deterioration but what I am sure, according to the graphics, the figures went on decrescendo”, he said.
The minister said there was no genocide being prepared in Burundi.

Dozens of activists calling themselves the “Tutsi Ethnic group” demonstrated in front of the UN office in Gatumba area of Mutimbuzi Commune in Bujumbura Province on 22 September. One person started the demonstration on 21 September, and slowly others joined him. Demonstrators waved placards which read “…Stop making trouble in Burundi! UN experts are liars, they are manipulated! ….we, Tutsi of Burundi, say No to the Manipulation…No Genocide in Burundi!”

In a statement issued on 22 September, the ruling party rejects the allegations of the UN report. «CNDD-FDD rejects unverified accusations and dangerously biased contained in that report, apparently the result of a vicious campaign against the regime, the manipulation of public opinion, which is in line with the destructive business”, said Evariste Ndayishimiye, Secretary General of the ruling party.

For the ruling party, the charges contained in this report do not reflect the reality on the ground. “CNDD-FDD regrets that it has never been contacted by these experts about the charges against it.” According to the ruling party, it is a clear sign of bad faith and intended harm of these UN experts. The party confirms that Imbonerakure are not involved in wrongdoing but if it happens that any member of the party violates the law, they are individually responsible.