COI urges that vigilance be maintained on Burundi in run-up to 2020 elections

“The UN Security Council should keep an eye on Burundi in this pre- electoral period,” said Doudou Diène, chairman of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Burundi (CIO) at a press conference organized in Geneva on September 3.

Doudou Diène: “The main human rights violations continue to have a political dimension”

He has said the commission looked into violations and abuses committed in the country since May 2018 paying special attention to those related to the 2020 electoral process.
He said the main human rights violations continue to have a political dimension and concern the right to life, security and liberty, the right not to be subjected to torture or ill-treatment, cases of sexual violence and the violation of civil liberties.

Doudou Diène has also said the victims are mainly the opponents of the government or the ruling party. He has mentioned the members of CNL party. He said the targeted groups are also Burundian nationals who, having sought refuge abroad, have returned to the country since the beginning of 2017 as well as young men who have come back to Burundi after a stay or a trip abroad. “They are accused of belonging to or supporting armed opposition groups,” he said.

According to the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi, the police, security forces and the ruling party’s youth league (the Imbonerakure) have continued to commit serious human rights violations, including killings, disappearances, torture and gang rape of people allegedly opposed to President Pierre Nkurunziza.

Mr. Diène, however, says the Burundian authorities have continued to reject the Commission’s work arguing that it is politically biased. “But the government has given no evidence to substantiate its accusations against the commission”.

Willy Nyamitwe, Senior Advisor to Burundi President says the Burundian government is no longer interested in responding to the lies and manipulation made by some Westerners who only want to destabilize Burundi.