[PETITION] Genocide in Burundi: Preventing this scenario from becoming a reality

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My country is going through a bloody crisis. A genocide is imminent. It all started when President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to run for a third term. On 26 April 2015, thousands of my fellow countrymen descended the streets to protest peacefully against this anti-constitutional decision. The law enforcement forces reacted ferociously. They fired into the crowd and killed five civilians...

Since that day, we live in fear. The violence is daily. Most of it is orchestrated by the security forces who take order from government authorities. The toll is already terrible: more than 1,000 people killed, 5,000 detained, 800 disappeared, hundreds of people tortured, hundreds of women victim of sexual violence, and thousands of arrests. More than 300,000 people have fled the country...

Since April 2015, my organization, with the help of FIDH, has carefully documented the grave crimes committed in Burundi. We have alerted the international community on the risk of mass crimes and acts of genocide. In spite of our appeals, President Nkurunziza continues to cast chaos. Everyday, his police forces torture, kill, rape and imprison with total impunity.

Today, my country finds itself on the brink. If President Nkurunziza does not put an end to his policy of terror, thousands of people will die in the coming months. This perspective makes my blood run cold; I can’t believe that such a calamity could happen. My country can still avoid the tragedies of Cambodia, Rwanda, ex-Yugoslavia and Syria. I want to believe that there is still hope of putting an end to this escalating violence. The genocide which threatens my country must be prevented at all cost. Together, let us act before it is too late. You are our hope...

The UN and the African Union should deploy a peacemaking mission to stop the crimes being committed and to prevent genocide in Burundi. This peacemaking mission should be composed of a sufficient number of blue helmets to protect the population and restore security in the country.

Are you ready to help me save thousands of lives in Burundi? Only a massive mobilization will get the UN to take action. Sign and share this petition asking the UN and the African Union to act before it is too late. My organization and FIDH will present your signatures to the UN with great resolve.

Anschaire Nikoyagize

President of ITEKA (The Burundian League of Human Rights, an FIDH member organization)

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