UN Reports 1,100 Killings by Burundi Army and Asks Halt
GENEVA - The UN human rights chief issued evidence Wednesday that Burundi's arrny had killed at least 1,100 people in two months, including hundreds of Hutu refugees, and urged the country's Tutsi leaders
to stop the bloodshed.
"I appeal to the authorities and all parties to assure maximum respect for rights and fundamental freedoms to put an end to killings, arbitrary arrests, destruction of property," the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Jose Ayala Lasso, said in a statement.
'Me UN humait rights office in Geneva, in reports based on its investigations and testimony by witnesses, said the killings by the army had taken place in October and November.
The biggest was when troops massacred 200 to 400 Hutu retumees and wounded 200 others in an attack on a church in the village of Murambi in the northwestern province of Cibitoke, the UN agency said.
Mr. Ayala Lasso also appealed urgently for funds to support his office in Burundi, where at Ieast 150,000 people have been killed in three years of ethnie war.
"I am deeply disturbed by the deteriorating human rights situation in Burundi," he said.
Hutu rebels battling the army also have killed scores of civilians, the report said.
It warned that an already alarming situation had been made worse by the influx of more than 50,000 Burundian Hutu refugees who fled a rebellion by ethnie Tutsi in eastern Zaire.
The UN human rights office said killings, disappearances and arbitrary arrests had risen sharply in Burundi since the influx began.
It said civilians were bearing the brunt of increasingly violent confrontations between troops and rebels, with Hutu guerrillas using mortars and the army striking with planes.
"The human rights situation in November could be described as alarming, with massacres, arbitrary arrests, pillage and destruction of property perpetrated by the two sides,- it