A widely circulated video of Burundi youth in the Imbonerakure militia chanting slogans about raping and killing their political opponents has met with condemnation from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said Tuesday that the video of the Imbonerakure, the youth wing of the ruling CNDD-FDD party, reflects the campaign of terror and violence across the nation. In his statement, he listed similar instances that have occurred at rallies in Kirundo, Kayanza, Makamba, Ruyigi and Rutana provinces that show a widespread pattern.
“The grotesque rape chants by the young men of the Imbonerakure across several provinces in various parts of Burundi are deeply alarming – particularly because they confirm what we have been hearing from those who have fled Burundi about a campaign of fear and terror by this organized militia,” Zeid said.
“While I welcome the statement by the CNDD-FDD condemning the chants in Ntega, reports that senior officials were present at other rallies are very disturbing,” he added. “There also needs to be an acknowledgement that the Ntega rally was not an isolated incident, but rather the tip of the iceberg, brought to light only because it was captured on camera.”
The Burundi government needs to stop pretending that the youth organization is a community development group, Zeid said: “In a region which has suffered so many massive outbreaks of violence and atrocities, this type of organized incitement rings very loud alarm bells.”
More than 400,000 people have fled Burundi in the two years ending on April 10, according to the UN.
File Image: YouTube CNDD-FDD