Human Right

FIDH and Ligue Iteka report on crimes committed in Burundi

The International Federation for Human Rights-FIDH and “Ligue ITEKA” association have published a report on 15 November about “Repression and genocidal dynamics in Burundi”. Burundi government refutes the allegations it contains.

People killed in an attack in Cibitoke western Bujumbura neighborhood on 4 October 2015

People killed in an attack in Cibitoke western Bujumbura neighborhood on 4 October 2015

The 200–page report summarizes and identifies crimes committed in Burundi since April 2015. FIDH and Ligue Iteka report a death toll reaching 1,000 people, the detention of 8,000 people for political motives, the disappearance of between 300 and 800 people, the ill-treatment of hundreds of people, sexual abuse of several women and girls, thousands of cases of arbitrary arrests and the flight of about 300,000 refugees.

According to the report, the executions are perpetrated by the regime’s security forces and the youth militia affiliated to the ruling party, the Imbonerakure.  The report mentions the sluggish intervention of the international community to protect Burundians after the failure to deploy 5000 AU troops and 228 UN police observers in July 2016.

Anshaire Nikoyagize, the chairman of Ligue Iteka says the report goes back to different events that have happened in Burundi since April 2015.  “We have found that the real problem in Burundi is based on political motives and the solutions might come from the political channel. Otherwise, the killings and abductions will persist in Burundi”, says Anshaire Nikoyagize.

For him, it is high time the UN deployed its forces to protect the Burundian population and stop the imminent genocide in Burundi. “The regime’s crimes have become systematic and crimes against humanity are ongoing and there is a risk of genocide”, he says.

Willy Nyamitwe, Senior Communication Advisor to the president’s office says the facts depicted in the FIDH report are intended to heighten ostracism against Burundian defense and security forces. “All these reports by international organizations aim to destabilize the security of the country. They are made to influence the decisions
of the UN Security Council, the UN and the AU”, he says.

For him, the report simply seeks to destabilize the country by overthrowing the democratically elected institutions.  “Those who failed to participate in the elections want to divide Burundians. We do not care about the wrong reports they regularly release to influence the UN to deploy its forces in Burundi”, he concludes.