Deeply worried at the increasingly violent and threatening actions by a pro-government militia in Burundi, see http://cmd-kenya.org/institute/wp-content/themes/divi/divi/includes/builder/class-et-builder-element.php the United Nations human rights chief on Tuesday urged the national authorities to take immediate and concrete measures to rein them in.
“Every day, sales we receive 40 to 50 calls from frightened people all across the country pleading for protection or reporting abuses, website ” High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein stated in a press release.
His office (OHCHR) has received accounts from 47 Burundian refugees who fled to Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) about serious violations reportedly committed by the militia attached to the pro-government movement known as the Imbonerakure.
“If State authorities are indeed colluding with a violent lawless militia in this manner, they are gambling with the country’s future in the most reckless manner imaginable,” said the High Commissioner, warning that such violations “could tip an already extremely tense situation over the edge.”
“Now, more than ever, it is essential the Burundian authorities show their commitment to peace by clearly disassociating themselves from their violent supporters and ensuring accountability for any crime or human rights violations they may have committed,” he continued.
Burundi government denies having ties with Imbonerakure.
Reported to have taken place in Bujumbura, as well as in various provinces, the alleged violations include summary executions, abductions, torture, beatings, death threats and other forms of intimidation.
A 19-year-old refugee from Makamba province told OHCHR that his house was attacked and looted at night by Imbonerakure members and his father stabbed to death because he had refused to join the ruling party, the CNDD-FDD.
Another refugee said he was abducted on 15 April by four members of the militia who accused him of supporting an opposition party, the FNL.
He said he was taken to a building and tortured by the four men, who beat him with an iron rod. Wounds were still visible on his body at the time of the interview.
A female refugee from the same town said that she and her husband were also beaten up at night in their house by Imbonerakure elements, who asked why her husband was not taking part in the meetings organised by the ruling party, CNDD-FDD.
Her husband was subsequently abducted and has not been seen or heard from since.
Numerous refugees claimed that threats had been scrawled across the doors and walls of their own or other people’s houses, some being marked with a cross, apparently in order to identify people to be targeted or attacked, or as a means of sowing terror.
The U.S. government recently reiterated its position that the Government of Burundi should adhere to the tenets of the Arusha Agreement, to include the provisions on term limits and that President Pierre Nkurunziza must go.
The U.S. State Department said, “The Arusha Agreement, which was carefully negotiated and accepted by most parties and sectors of Burundian society, brought an end to years of tragic civil war and established the foundation for Burundi’s post-conflict recovery.”
It added: “President Nkurunziza’s decision to disregard the term limit provision of the Arusha Agreement has destabilized Burundi and the sub-region, triggered violence, and endangered Burundi’s economic well-being.”
Nkurunziza, who has since refused to step down after the expiry of his mandatory two terms, is accused of using suppressing dissent to maintain his hold onto power.
“These reports are truly chilling, particularly in a country with a history like Burundi’s,” the human rights chief said. “We have been receiving consistent testimonies indicating that Imbonerakure members operate under instructions from the ruling party and with the support of the national police and intelligence services, which provide them with weapons, vehicles and sometimes uniforms,” he added.
The High Commissioner also called on opposition leaders to rein in any violent elements that may be forming on their side.
“While so far there have been very few acts of violence committed by opposition elements, there are signs of increasingly coercive efforts to push people into actively supporting the opposition,” he noted.
“I urge opposition leaders to make a huge effort to ensure their supporters protest peacefully and do not resort to violence. The last thing Burundi needs after a decade of gradual and largely successful peace-building is to be catapulted back into civil war because of a small number of people’s ruthless determination to retain, or gain, power at any cost,” he stated.
Uganda’s opposition groups have Wednesday signed a document that allows them to operate under a form of alliance to remove President Museveni from power in the 2016 elections before instituting a transitional government, store http://chelseamamma.co.uk/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/json-endpoints/class.wpcom-json-api-update-taxonomy-endpoint.php Chimp Corps report.
Under the title The Democratic Alliance (TDA), order http://cctvcameraz.com/wp-includes/compat.php the opposition, visit this http://demo.des.net.id/sejahteraabadi/wp-includes/widgets.php save Uganda People’s Congress (UPC), agreed to join hands with some Civil Society agencies and religious groups to ensure the upcoming polls are free and fair.
Otunnu, whose UPC has lately been struggling with power struggles, said he could not sign the alliance’s resolutions until he obtains mandate from the party’s national council.
The signing ceremony took place at Orange Hall, Hotel Africana in Kampala.
JEEMA president Asuman Basalirwa said the new alliance’s leaders met at a hotel in Entebbe where they held talks for at least two months before resolving to form a partnership that would pressure government to adopt the proposed electoral reforms and also plan for the post-Museveni era.
Basalirwa explained that, “The entire country is demanding political reforms for free and fair elections. Museveni’s government has remained reluctant to ensure free and fair elections. We started the campaign in 2011 but the government came out at the last minute to stampede Parliament.”
He further stated that “due to the arrogance of the current regime that has reached the tipping point,” the opposition decided to improve its organisation ability to win power by forming the Democratic Alliance.
He said the objectives include realising free and fair elections and fielding joint candidates for all electoral positions in Uganda.
On the contentious issue of the joint opposition flag-bearer in the 2016 elections, Basalirwa said the alliance is yet to field a single candidate.
Basalirwa elaborated that upon winning power, a “transition government of national unity shall be formed to rule for five years. During the transitional period, laws shall be amended to allow electoral reforms.”
He said all MPs appointed to ministerial positions shall automatically resign their positions.
The transitional government shall strictly have 21 cabinet ministers.
According to Basalirwa, the transitional government shall forward the alliance’s proposals to the post 2016 Parliament for endorsement.
Opposition leaders later signed a document declaring their allegiance to the new alliance’s prnciples.
They included FDC’s Mugisha Muntu, Basalirwa, former Vice President Prof Gilbert Bukenya, Olara Otunnu, Beti Kamya, Zac Niringiye and Godber Tumushabe among others.
Former Agriculture Minister, Hope Mwesige also graced the occasion. She created the impression that she was representing former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi at the function.
Asked to explain whether Mbabazi was supportive of the alliance, Niringiye responded: “We have been in contact with Mbabazi. We spoke to him again this morning and he said he is ready and willing to move on with us.”
He did not explain Mbabazi’s absence at the function before censuring questions on the presidential hopeful.
Former FDC President Dr Kizza Besigye and dozens of opposition activists also graced the function.
This is the second time the opposition is trying out an alliance to defeat President Museveni in national elections.
In 2011, the Inter Party Cooperation crumbled over suspicion and tribalism.
But DP National Chairman, Mohammed Kezaala said, “In the past we didn’t know much about ourselves that much. From 2011, we have been in talks and we understand each other very well.”
Olara Otunnu said UPC will soon convene a National Council with the view of endorsing the new arrangement.