European parliament accuses Burundi government of human rights violations

This Thursday 19 January 2017, the European parliament has written to the Burundi government, spelling out a number of accusations about human rights violations. It has also condemned the law legalising the “Imbonerakure”, a violent youth militia, according to the European parliament.

" Imbonerakure", the youth league of the ruling party.

” Imbonerakure”, the youth league of the ruling party.

The European parliament says its report on Burundi expresses its deep concerns at the worsening political security situation and violence occurring in Burundi since 2015.

The parliament also said the justice system in Burundi is corrupt: “Despite hundreds of people being killed and tortured since the crisis began, many of them by the police and intelligence services, very few have been brought to justice.”

The European Parliament said it condemns activities of “Imbonerakure”, the youth league of the ruling party. “According to reports, ‘Imbonerakure’ members arrest, beat and steal possessions from residents, and also use rape as a weapon», said the European parliament.

In Burundi’s ruling party “Imbonerakure» is a part of members who are still young. They are most often said to commit different crimes, but in a secret way. Different reports of international human rights associations show that the Imbonerakure youth violate human rights.

According to the European parliament, “Imbonerakure” focus their attacks on opposition members: “Scores of opposition members and identified opponents have been killed, imprisoned, beaten and tortured in recent months.

Imbonerakure members are also widely accused by international human rights organisations and the UN of grave human rights abuses and of impunity.”

The European parliament said it condemns the adoption of a new law on the creation of a national volunteer corps. According to them, the law is aimed at legalising the activities of “Imbonerakure” youth. The parliament calls for the immediate disarmament of the militia.

Ninette Nancy Mutoni, in charge of communication for the “Imbonerakure” denies all accusations of the European parliament. “Such reports aim at tarnishing the CNDD party [Burundi’s ruling party] and its Imbonerakure youth. There is no truth in anything they have said”, says Mutoni.

Iwacu has tried to contact Burundian government members to include their point of view, but to no avail.