UN rights office concerned by Burundi bloodshed

AFP , Friday 23 Sep 2011

The UN human Rights office announces concern over increasing violence in Burundi, the statement comes after a massacre in a bar killed 39 people on Monday

The office of the United Nation's human rights chief expressed deep concern Friday over violence in Burundi, after a recent bar shooting left 39 dead in one of the country's worst attacks in months.

"We are concerned about the increasing levels of violence in Burundi," spokeswoman of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Ravina Shamdasani told reporters.

On Monday attackers raided a bar in Gatumba area, just west of the capital Bujumbura in a stronghold of the former National Liberation Forces (FNL) rebels.

The bar shooting, Shamdasani said, was a "massacre in a context of increased tension, marked by a series of extra-judicial killings that appeared to be mainly aimed at activists of the opposition National Liberation Front."

Although the government has established a commission of enquiry to investigate the attacks, the spokeswoman pointed out that "other commissions of inquiry set up to investigate past killings have so far yielded no prosecutions."

"We encourage the government to ensure prompt and impartial investigations of all human rights violations ... and to ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice," Shamdasani added.

The country is still struggling to emerge from 13 years of civil war that erupted in 1993 and left some 300,000 people dead. Recent escalating violence has raised fears of a resumption of all-out conflict.

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