UN Calls for Investigations into Atrocities and Massacres Against Civilians

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The human rights situation in Burkina Faso continues to deteriorate, according to a statement issued in late May by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The UN has called on the Burkinabe government to conduct thorough investigations into atrocities and massacres committed against civilians by both terrorists and national security forces.

Volker Türk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, urged the transitional government to initiate investigations to identify and prosecute those responsible for these heinous acts. Marta Hurtado, spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Office, emphasized that Burkina Faso, as a signatory to United Nations conventions, cannot ignore this call for accountability. However, she acknowledged that the process might be lengthy.

“When we issued the statement calling for an investigation, we were addressing the national authorities. When violations or abuses occur, it is the national authority’s duty to conduct investigations. We have requested this, and we are starting with a national investigation. The authorities have informed us that they are indeed conducting these investigations, but they must reach a conclusion to ensure justice is served. We are waiting and hoping that the authorities will complete these investigations,” explained Hurtado.

When asked if there are more persuasive or coercive methods that the United Nations and the High Commissioner could employ to expedite these investigations and ensure they are carried out effectively, Hurtado admitted the limitations of their influence.

“No, we have no other means than dialogue to make them understand that they must fulfill their obligations. Like other countries, they too must act. It is the state’s duty to shed light on all violations and abuses committed within their territory.”

In conclusion, the UN’s call for investigations in Burkina Faso highlights the urgent need for accountability amidst escalating human rights abuses. While the process may be slow and the means of enforcement limited, the international community’s expectation is clear: Burkina Faso must fulfill its obligations and ensure that justice is served for the victims of these atrocities.


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