The East African country of Burundi is facing its highest levels of tension ever since the 1994 genocide in neighboring Rwanda. The country has been falling apart ever since President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decided to prolong his ten-year rule by unconstitutionally dismissing the country’s term limits in 2015.
Assortments of gang rapes, violence and mass arrests have become a norm ever since, resulting in over 250,000 Burundians fleeing the country. Political opposition has been and is continuing to be repressed with force.
Nkurunziza is a former Hutu rebel who became president in 2005 after the last civil war.
In conversation with TIME, a 22-year-old victim named Douce revealed how women were forced inside huts, forced to undress followed by rapes and then even massacred.
The Deputy Presidential spokesman Jean-Claude Karerwa dismissed the information when asked about the raping incidents. “If some women have been raped, I can tell you it has not been done by our defense and security forces because that kind of behavior is not condoned by the government of Burundi.”