Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


UN decries killings, mass graves and gang rapes in Burundi

15 January 2016, 15:40

Bujumbura -The UN human rights chief voiced alarm Friday at the spiralling violence in Burundi, decrying allegations of security forces gang raping women, ethnic killings and mass graves filled with more than 100 bodies.

"All the alarm signals, including the increasing ethnic dimension of the crisis, are flashing red," Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein warned in a statement.

Burundi has been sliding deeper into violence since President Pierre Nkurunziza announced in April his intention to run in elections in July.

The unrest has intensified since his re-election, with political assassinations on both sides, attacks against the police and summary executions.

But Zeid warned Friday that "deeply worrying new trends are emerging in Burundi, including cases of sexual violence by security forces and a sharp increase in enforced disappearances and torture cases."

He called for an urgent investigation into a spike in violence in Bujumbura last month and witness accounts of at least nine mass graves in and around the capital, including one in a military camp allegedly containing more than 100 bodies of people killed on December 11.

"My office is analysing satellite images in an effort to shed more light on these extremely serious allegations," Zeid said.

The witness testimony suggests that the toll from the December 11 attacks on three military bases was far higher than the official tally of 87 dead.

The UN puts the number at at least 130.

Those attacks meanwhile appeared to have triggered "new and extremely disturbing patterns of violations," Zeid said.

"We have documented 13 cases of sexual violence against women, which began during the search and arrest operations that took place after the December events," he said.

"The pattern was similar in all cases: security forces allegedly entered the victims' houses, separated the women from their families, and raped - in some cases gang-raped - them," he added.

Police and army forces had also arrested "considerable numbers of young men, many of whom were later tortured, killed or taken to unknown destinations," Zeid said.

He voiced particular alarm at testimony from residents in various neighbourhoods indicating that the search operations following the December 11 violence had targeted Tutsis in particular.

One woman was told she was being sexually abused since she was Tutsi, and in Bujumbura's Nyakabiga neighbourhood, a witness claimed Tutsis "were systematically killed, while Hutus were spared," Zeid's office said.

"A complete breakdown in law and order is just around the corner," Zeid warned, stressing that with "the potentially lethal ethnic dimension starting to rear its head, this will inevitably end in disaster if the current rapidly deteriorating trajectory continues."

At least 439 people have died in the violence since April and tens of thousands have fled to neighbouring countries out of fear of a return to all-out war.

Burundi plunged into civil war on ethnic lines between majority Hutus and minority Tutsis in 1993, at a cost of an estimated 300,000 lives by the end of the conflict in 2006.



Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Types of men that are a waste of ...

Most women end up heartbroken because they were trying to convince the wrong man to be in a relationship/ marriage. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Cheating is hardwork!

Cheating, although enjoyable by the person doing it initially, it gets to a point they start realizing that it was never even worth it. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Dating that one person that socie...

Works at a massage parlour. Works at Millionaires Club (that one on Baricho road) - you know the ones I am talking about. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
What do men mean when they say th...

As much as men think they are the ones confused by relationships, they have a better idea of it than most women actually do. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
ODM rebels sweat in Kisii as Oran...

ODM rebels are sweating in Kisii after the Orange Party won by elections despite concerted efforts by the ruling Jubilee Party to win the elections. Read more...