Burundi government supporters protest against UN genocide warning

Thousands of government supporters Saturday protested against a United Nations report that warned of an impending genocide in the troubled East African nation of Burundi.

In the capital, Bujumbura, hundreds of demonstrators marched towards the UN headquarters, carrying posters that read “UN experts are liars” and “Burundi says NO to manipulation.”

Earlier this week, a UN inquiry commission found government and allied groups had been responsible for the unlawful killings of more than 560 people since April 2015.

The government had also committed “systematic and continuous” human rights violations, including torture and arbitrary arrests, the commission said.

The government rejected the report as “politically motivated.”

Speaking at the UN General Assembly in New York, External Affairs Minister Alain Aime Nyamitwe said his country had maintained an "unwavering commitment" to human rights for all ethnic groups and warned of what he claimed were falsified human rights reports.

"It is imperative that any assessment of the situation be done with caution," he said. "Rumours, falsified information, social media, all are used to paint Burundi in a bad light."

Burundi has been in turmoil since President Pierre Nkurunziza announced last year that he would seek a third term in office despite a constitutional two-term limit.

His election victory in July 2015 unleashed a wave of political violence in which hundreds have been killed.

Human rights activists say the Hutu-dominated government is increasingly targeting Tutsis in an attempt to foment ethnic hatred and divert attention from the political conflict.

Last update: Sun, 25/09/2016 - 09:43

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