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Rights group accuse Burundi of ethnic purging on army

Bujumbura – International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), a French rights group on Tuesday accused Burundian authorities of ethnically-driven purge of the army.

The Paris-based FIDH in a report said that conflict in Burundi would alarm global powers because the fortunes of the country are so intertwined with its neighbour, Rwanda, where 800,000 people were killed in 1994 genocide.

The report, is the first to shine a light on the impact of violence, which followed President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision to seek a third term in April 2015, on the army.

The report said that the purge of officers from the Tutsi ethnic group comes as Nkurunziza, a Hutu, consolidates power following violence that has killed at least 1,200 people.

“This risks leading to the breakup of the army and pushing a number of soldiers toward a military opposition, which would be synonymous with a new civil war,’’ the group said.

The government in Bujumbura rejected the findings of the report.


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