UN ex­tends Bu­rundi abuses probe

The Jakarta Post - - WORLD -

SWITZERLAND: The UN Hu­man Rights Coun­cil voted Fri­day to ex­tend the mis­sion of an in­ter­na­tional probe into atroc­i­ties in Bu­rundi, over­rid­ing strong push­back from the gov­ern­ment ac­cused of crimes against hu­man­ity.

The adop­tion of the Euro­pean Union res­o­lu­tion to pro­long the man­date by a year came a day af­ter the coun­cil’s African bloc ap­proved a sep­a­rate mea­sure to send a team of ex­perts to Bu­rundi that would re­port their find­ings to the gov­ern­ment.

The con­tro­ver­sial African pro­posal, strongly sup­ported by Bu­rundi’s UN del­e­ga­tion, an­gered West­ern del­e­ga­tions and rights groups.

They blasted it as an un­der­handed at­tempt to sup­press the im­pact of the UN-backed probe, which has col­lected ev­i­dence of egre­gious crimes or­ches­trated by Bu­rundi’s gov­ern­ment and se­cu­rity forces.

The EU res­o­lu­tion ex­tends the work of the in­de­pen­dent Com­mis­sion of In­quiry, which ear­lier this month ac­cused the gov­ern­ment of crimes against hu­man­ity, in­clud­ing ex­e­cu­tions and tor­ture.

Bu­rundi plunged into cri­sis in 2015 af­ter the coun­try’s Pres­i­dent Pierre Nku­run­z­iza sought a fiercely con­tested third term in of­fice.

The vi­o­lence claimed be­tween 500 and 2,000 lives, ac­cord­ing to dif­fer­ing tolls from the UN and civil so­ci­ety groups, while more than 400,000 Bu­run­di­ans have fled abroad.—AFP

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