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Burkina Faso: UN rights office calls for probe into coup-related deaths

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Right (OHCHR), has called for an investigation into the deaths and injuries resulting from last week’s coup in Burkina Faso.

UN Human Rights spokesperson Seif Magango made the call in a statement on Friday.

According to him, staff are closely following the human rights situation in the West African country following the coup within a couple in which soldiers ousted Paul-Henri Damiba, who had himself seized power in a military takeover in January.

“We welcome the military authorities’ statements that they will honour the country’s international commitments, including those related to the promotion and protection of human rights.

“However, we remain concerned that multiple allegations of human rights violations continue to be reported from many parts of the country,” Magongo said.

OHCHR urged the authorities to conduct “prompt, thorough and impartial investigations” into all deaths and injuries related to the 30 September coup, including those of at least four people killed, and eight others injured, in looting and demonstrations.

Magango said the authorities should also ensure persons responsible are held to account.

“We also call on the current authorities to unequivocally condemn all instances of hate speech and incitement to violence, wherever they may occur, and ensure that any culprits are held accountable in accordance with the law,” he added.

The UN human rights office is also troubled by the dire security and humanitarian situation in the North-Central and Sahel regions of Burkina Faso, where civilians face daily threats of violence from non-State armed groups.

According to the Magango, credible reports suggest that at least eight children died of malnutrition recently in Djibo town, which has been under siege since May.

The last convoy that attempted to deliver humanitarian assistance on 26 September was attacked by armed groups, leaving 37 people dead, including ten civilians.

The spokesperson also expressed OHCHR’s deep concern over the decision to arbitrarily suspend all political and civil society activities, saying it should be rescinded.

Furthermore, although the authorities have pledged to deal decisively with the upsurge in violence, it deems to be terrorist-related.

OHCHR cautioned that all military operations, including those against non-State armed groups, must fully comply with international human rights law and applicable international humanitarian law, while also ensuring civilians are protected.

- Source: UN News

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