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World News \ Africa

'Burundi near civil war': UNHCR

Kenyas and Burudians hold a prayer vigil in Nairobi, Kenya to end the violence in Burundi - AFP

Kenyas and Burudians hold a prayer vigil in Nairobi, Kenya to end the violence in Burundi - AFP

16/12/2015 06:27

(Vatican Radio)  Burundi is quickly sliding back into outright civil war. That’s according to the United Nations (UNHCR), who says its aid agencies are responding to increased violence in the country with emergency response teams. Recent fighting has left over 150,000 people internally displaced in Burundi, with more than half a million suffering from severe food insecurity due to the conflict.

Listen to Peter Kenny's report:

The violent situation in Burundi is deteriorating and in danger of sliding into war the UN commissioner for Human rights has warned. Due to the escalating violence the UN Human Rights Council is to convene a special session on December 18.

UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein has said he is "deeply alarmed by the latest developments in Burundi's unfolding crisis."

Cecile Pouilly a spokesperson for the UN rights office said at the end of last week security forces arrested hundreds of young men in Bujumbura, allegedly summarily executing a number of them and taking many others to unknown locations.

“With this latest series of bloody events, the country seems to have taken a new step towards outright civil war and tensions are now at bursting point in Bujumbura,” Pouilly said.

Zeid has urged all actors in the current crisis, including political leaders and State authorities at the highest level, to take every step possible to stop this deadly escalation and engage in a meaningful and inclusive dialogue.

16/12/2015 06:27