National Youth Council calls for mass protest against UN report on Burundi

The Burundi National Youth Council is calling on all young Burundians to participate in a mass demonstration to be held on 4 March throughout the country. The objective is to protest against the recent report released by the United Nations Secretary General (UNSG) on Burundi.

Protesters before UN place in Bujumbura.

Protesters before UN place in Bujumbura.

“The report says that Burundians continue to flee the country while we live in peace. This report is biased,” Elaste Nzitonda, the chairman of the Burundi National Youth Council, tells Iwacu.

He calls on all young Burundians to come to protest against the UN report tomorrow throughout the country.
Nzitonda says that it will be an opportunity to protest against impunity in Burundi.

“Wanted people in Burundi should be extradited and be tried, especially the alleged coup plotters,” Nzitonda says. He also asks for the constitution of Burundi to be amended. He says that the Burundi Constitution needs to be updated according to the current conditions of the country.

UN concerned about human rights deteriorating in Burundi

On 23 February, the UNSG Antonio Guterres released a report on Burundi. The report reveals that human rights violations continue to deteriorate in the country, while the government has decided to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC), to suspend its cooperation and collaboration with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and not to cooperate with the Commission of Inquiry mandated by the Human Rights Council.

Guterres said he is concerned with the report issued in August 2016, where the National Commission for Inter-Burundian Dialogue (CNDI) envisaged canceling the presidential term limits which would violate the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement.

Patrick Nkurunziza, chairman of the youth league of an opposition party, Frodebu, says that Frodebu members are not concerned by this demonstration organized by the national council. “We are not invited. Besides, we do not recognize this national youthcouncil because it is largely made of the youth members of the ruling party, CNDD-FDD. They work for the government, «he says.

The report reveals that 387,000 Burundians have fled the country since the current crisis erupted in April 2015. The UNHCR estimates that Burundi refugees will reach 500,000 by the end of 2017.