burundi wants unhcr out
FILE IMAGE OF PROTESTS IN BURUNDI AFTER UN SENT POLICE. / COURTESY

The Burundi Government on Wednesday sent a verbal message to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) ordering them out in two months.

According to French news agency, AFP, the government also wants all international employees redeployed in the two months time frame.

“All international staff must be immediately redeployed and the office has two months to pack up and close its doors,” a foreign affairs ministry staffer told the agency.

A UN source further disclosed that the Burundi government has with time grown “more radical and defiant towards the international community.”

Confirming the reports was UN spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani in Geneva who said that they received the letter on Wednesday “requesting us to close the office. We of course regret this decision and we would like to continue our cooperation with Burundi.”

This has been the situation in the country ever since President Pierre Nkurunziza in 2015 declared that he would be seeking a third term in office. His announcement sparked unrest, which has left thousands dead and some 400,000 people displaced.

The state has also been withdrawing from International criticism and made history by becoming the first African country to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Earlier on in the year, outgoing UN rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein described the East African nation as “some of the most prolific slaughterhouses of humans in recent times.”

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In October 2016 the government suspended its cooperation with the UN rights office accusing it of “complicity with coup plotters and Burundi’s enemies” after a report alleged the “involvement of the regime in systematic abuses and a risk of genocide.”

And again in December 2017, the government shut down four regional offices of the UN rights office in the country.

The government has denies claims that it targets its own people, saying the accusations are “malicious propaganda spread by exiles.”

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