Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

YOU ARE HERE

France’s Camargue region and its herdsmen

Read more

FOCUS

The steady rise of women in Taiwanese politics

Read more

FASHION

For summer 2017 menswear, designers interrogate the complexity of modern life

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf hails 'milestone' as UN peacekeepers leave Liberia

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

The 'Brexecution' of Boris Johnson

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

State of British Politics 'Worse than Shakespeare'

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

From London to Abu Dhabi: How Brexit sent shockwaves across the world

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Carney: UK suffering from 'economic post-traumatic stress'

Read more

ACROSS AFRICA

Liberia UNMIL mission: Peacekeepers prepare to hand over to government

Read more

Africa

Amnesty says dozens buried in Burundi mass graves

© AFP | A picture taken in the Buringa area of Burundi, on January 19, 2016 shows a site flagged by Amnesty International as an 'area of interest'.

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2016-01-30

Amnesty International has published satellite images they say show five mass graves of victims of Burundi’s security forces killed in December 2015.

The rights group said the graves were in the Buringa suburb of the capital, Bujumbura, which has been wracked by violence as the security forces target neighbourhoods seen as opposition strongholds.

“Burundian security forces, primarily the police, killed dozens of people on 11 December 2015 after a pre-dawn rebel attack on three military installations in Bujumbura,” Amnesty said in a press release.

“While some of those who were killed on 11 December may have participated in the attack on military installations or may have fought the security forces within residential neighbourhoods, many did not.”

Amnesty said video evidence, including footage by FRANCE 24 journalists taken in late December, showed freshly turned earth at the site.

FRANCE 24 reports from the site of the alleged mass graves in late December (in French)

"The imagery, dating from late December and early January, shows disturbed earth consistent with witness accounts. Witnesses told Amnesty International that the graves were dug on the afternoon of December 11, in the immediate aftermath of the bloodiest day of Burundi's escalating crisis," the group said.

The NGO said that it visited Bujumbura on December 12, and did not see any bodies in the streets, but said there was evidence – including blood still visible on the ground – that a large number of people had been killed or injured.

“The bodies had been taken away,” Amnesty spokeswoman Nina Walch told FRANCE 24, who said that up to 87 people had been killed in the operation. “The reason these bodies were buried was to prevent us from knowing exactly how many people had been killed.”

Amnesty has demanded that an independent international inquiry be opened into the killings and the alleged cover-up by the Burundian authorities.

Burundi’s government dismissed the report, claiming it was biased information that had been given to Amnesty by its opponents.

Violence erupted in Burundi in April 2015 when President President Pierre Nkurunziza declared he would seek a third term in office.

More than 400 people have died and 240,000 people have fled the country, according to the UN.

Amnesty’s allegations of mass graves and a government cover-up of a massacre came as regional leaders met in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to persuade Nkurunziza to accept the intervention of a UN peacekeeping force, a move he has consistently opposed.

Date created : 2016-01-30

  • BURUNDI

    UN Security Council visits Burundi to press for peace

    Read more

  • BURUNDI

    UN decries Burundi gang rapes, probes mass grave reports

    Read more

  • BURUNDI

    Burundi rivals hold peace talks in Uganda

    Read more

COMMENT(S)