Burundi Government has written a letter to the UN Security Council as a reaction to the recent UN Secretary General report. It denies the allegations of human rights abuse contained in the report.
“This updated note aims to bring your attention that the UNSG report contains some unconfirmed facts and has forgotten to report many new positive developments in the country”, says Albert Shingiro, Burundi Permanent Representative to UN.
He, however, says Burundi still faces some political, security, humanitarian, human rights and development challenges like other nations. “It is clear that some of the facts in the report are exaggerated since no names have been provided to back the allegations”, Nshingiro says.
As for the allegations of enforced disappearances, Burundi Permanent Representative to UN says several young people who fled the country for military training in neighboring countries were declared as missing people. “In February, DRC handed over 150 young people to Burundi, many of whom were declared missing”, he says.
Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General, says the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) noted an increase in allegations of enforced disappearance, with more than 210 cases received between October 2016 and January 2017, compared with 77 cases documented by OHCHR between April and 10 October 2016.
OHCHR reported at least 30 people killed in the past four months, as well as an upward trend in the discovery of dead bodies, with at least 22 corpses discovered in January 2017.
Léonce Ngendakumana, the deputy chairman of Sahwanya Frodebu party, says the report by the UN Secretary General contains true information.
Ngendakumana says the killings and human rights deterioration reported by the UN are a reflection of what happened in the country.
Lambert Nigarura, one of the human rights defenders, says Burundi dismisses the report by the UN Secretary General to conceal serious violations of human rights committed in Burundi. “This is a desperate attempt of the regime to hide crimes committed by its agents”, he says.
Nigarura says the truth will finally come to light as different weekly and quarterly reports with such facts have been published. “Burundi would have produced a counter- report with supporting evidence”, he says. For this, Nigarura calls on the UNSC to intervene and rescue the Burundian people who have been victimized by the regime.