UN warns of ‘rapidly worsening’ human rights and security situation in Burundi

    UN warns of ‘rapidly worsening’ human rights and security situation in Burundi

    Oct.25, New York: The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) expressed its concern over the “rapidly worsening” security and human rights situation in Burundi, where at least 198 people have been killed since April, including the execution of at least nine civilians ten days ago.

    “We are particularly shocked at the deadly incident which took place on 13 October in the Bujumbura neighbourhood of Ngagara,” said OHCHR Spokesperson Rupert Colville, speaking at a press conference in Geneva.

    “At least nine civilians were reportedly summarily executed by police forces belonging to the API Unit (Appui pour la Protection des institutions, the Police Unit in charge of protecting state institutions),” said Mr. Colville, “including a well-known cameraman of the National Radio and Television of Burundi (RTNB), Christophe Nkezabahizi, his wife, their two children and an IOM staff member living in the same compound, Evariste Mbonihankuye.”

    “While police forces were searching houses in the area, members of the Nkezabahizi family were reportedly called out of their home, lined up and shot in cold blood,” he continued. “Reports suggested that the IOM staff member was wearing his UN-ID but was still shot dead.”

    Despite previous reports of attacks against humanitarian personnel, this is the first time a humanitarian worker has been killed by security forces since the beginning of the crisis, Colville said.

    The incident, he said, was apparently triggered by an attack on three API police officers by an armed youth. One officer was killed and another was injured. Four other people, including a minor, were also reportedly killed by the police in a separate incident at the same location on the same day.

    The Oslo Times


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