Burundi shuts UN human rights office

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The United Nations Human Rights Office in Burundi has been forced to close at the insistence of the government.

The Burundian authorities suspended co-operation with the human rights office in 2016 and insist there is no longer any need for such an office as they have made so much progress on human rights.

The UN Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, begs to differ.

She says much of this progress has been put into serious jeopardy since 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run for a third term in office, prompting months of violence.

The UN Human Rights Office was set up in Burundi in 1995 following a wave of ethnic killings.

The events of 2015 show that Burundi is still fragile; with the potential for political and ethnic violence lurking just below the surface.

 

Sammie Idika