Bar Exams in the Pandemic JURIST Digital Scholars
Burundi: impunity for human rights violations still widespread says UN
jorono / Pixabay
Burundi: impunity for human rights violations still widespread says UN

The UN report claimed Thursday that human rights violations are still widespread and remain unpunished in Burundi, despite the new government.

The Commission of Inquiry on Burundi, which drafted the report at the request of the UN Human Rights Council, said that there has been little in the way of positive changes as to human rights in Burundi since the country’s new president, Evariste Ndayishimiye, assumed office.

“The democratic space remains very narrow, impunity persists, and there is no indication that the level of human rights violations has abated under the new Government,” said Doudou Diene, the Chairperson of the Commission.

Ndayishimiye, who won the elections that were held in May of this year, assumed office in June, thus ending former President Pierre Nkurunziza’s 15 years of presidency and bringing hope that the political and human rights crisis that has marked the country since April 2015—when Nkurunziza announced his decision to run for a third term—would end. Alas, the abuses have not abated.

“In recent weeks there have continued to be killings, there have continued to be arbitrary detentions and there have continued to be disappearances … [a]nd that is a matter of grave concern,” said Françoise Hampson, a member of the Commission.

Summary executions, torture and sexual violence against men and women continue to occur in the country, as do multidimensional poverty and corruption. The Commission reported that there is “more cause for concern and warning, than promise,” especially in light of the fact that Ndayishimiye appointed individuals who face international sanctions for human rights violations to key positions in the new government.

The Commission is due to present its final report to the Human Rights Council on September 23.