JOHANNESBURG (AP) – A new report by the United Nations commission of inquiry on Burundi sees little optimism in the government of new President Evariste Ndayishimiye, saying it is “extremely concerned” that he has appointed senior officials who face international sanctions for alleged human rights abuses in the country’s 2015 political turmoil.
The report released Thursday said targeted killings, intimidation and sexual assaults of both men and women were committed against opposition supporters ahead of the disputed May election in the East African nation. It said children were forced to take part in ruling party meetings and even forced to vote by officials “who gave them the voting cards of deceased or exiled voters.”
Some of the abuses may constitute crimes against humanity, the report said, saying the main perpetrators were the Imbonerakure youth wing of the ruling party, police and agents of the National Intelligence Service. “They have continued to enjoy nearly total impunity,” it said.