Burundi’s President Showing no Remorse

By noomsgee_ on
PHOTOGRAPH: Picserver |

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.

They were saying, ‘We’ll finish you all. Do you think when we’re done with your husbands and your brothers, you’ll remain? We have to eradicate you.’” 
– DouceKaruzi_Burundi_goats

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.”

A UN memo to the Security Council has warned the peace-keeping force they will be unable to stop the large-scale violence that has been erupted ever since the further extension of Pierre’s term. “A truly worst-case scenario will result in a scale of violence beyond the United Nations’ capacity to protect,” said the memo obtained by the AFP. Bujumbura has rejected a plan to build an African Union contingent to halt the violence, calling it an “invasion” force.
The United States has suspended training for military officials over political violence erupting in the country.”The U.S. has temporarily halted peacekeeping training activities such as the Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance program,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told Reuters. The violence has spiraled so out of control in Burundi, the United Nations fears there will be a renewed ethnic conflict relapsing in the area. 

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