from OMEGA SSUUNA in Bujumbura, Burundi
BUJUMBURA, (CAJ News) – BURUNDI’S new president Évariste Ndayishimiye has been urged to investigate sexual abuse accusations leveled against the country’s military peacekeepers.
Some 43 individuals deployed in the Central African Republic (CAR) are accused of the serious violations since 2015.
The alleged victims include 49 children, 27 adults and five individuals of unknown age.
The United Nations Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Burundi alleges the conduct of the government forces has not improved.
On Tuesday (September 22 the COI will appear before the Human Rights Council in Geneva.
According to a report by the UN agency, the list of alleged perpetrators of crimes against humanity includes individuals who hold senior positions in the new Burundi government.
Some have been promoted within the defence and security forces since the new president Ndayishimiye took office in June.
He took over from Pierre Nkurunziza, who died of what the government claimed was heart failure but many suspect was coronavirus (COVID-19).
The non-governmental organisation (NGO), AIDS Free World, said Ndayishimiye could show the world that he is a different kind of leader than Nkurunziza.
“UN Secretary-General, António Guterres must call upon him to order the investigation and prosecution, if necessary, of Burundian soldiers serving in UN Peacekeeping who have been accused of sexual crimes,” the NGO stated.
Burundi remains in UN Peacekeeping, with 742 contingent troops currently based in the CAR.
CAR is emerging from years of a deadly civil war.
– CAJ News