An Investigation Led on Authority in Burundi

By Debra Murray

The United Nations human rights investigators looked into the country of Burundi’s top leaders and state security agencies with beliefs that the rulers have committed crimes against humanity.

“We were struck by the scale and the brutality of violations,” said Fatsan Ougeurgouz, an Algerian jurist and President of the Commission of Inquiry: a world committee.

People not in favor of Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza’s ruling and many independent activists have become victims of attacks, including torture and rape at the hand of various members of the military and police. Some have disappeared to detention centers or escaped the country out of fear of being harmed.

“The president is the spider in the center of this parallel system,” said Francoise Hampton, a United Nations investigator on this case, in an interview.

Recently, the UN investigators on the Burundi case have urged the International Crime Court to open a case on the West African country. The Commission of Inquiry has mentioned acts of extreme brutality during a recent press conference.

“We also noted a lack of will on the part of the Burundian authorities to fight against impurity and guarantee the independence of the judiciary,” said Fatsan Ougeurgouz.




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