• The Burundian government committed to strengthening human rights protections and made progress in certain areas, such as initiatives to address gender-based violence and proposals for judicial reforms. However, the justice system remained weak and under-resourced and suffered from political interference and allegations of corruption. Impunity for human rights abuses, particularly by state agents and youth of the ruling party, was a dominant concern. Most cases of extrajudicial killings and other acts of political violence between 2010 and 2012 remained unresolved. Police shot dead nine religious worshippers and severely beat many others near Businde, Kayanza province, in March 2013. Journalists and civil society activists encountered intimidation by the government, which accused them of siding with the opposition. In June 2013, President Pierre Nkurunziza promulgated a new press law severely curtailing media freedoms.

  • United Nations peacekeeper writes notes at a mass grave in Gatumba, August 16, 2004.

    Burundian authorities should hold accountable those responsible for a 2004 massacre of Congolese refugees. More than 150 refugees, most of them women and children, were killed and more than 100 others injured, on August 13, 2004, at Gatumba, in one of the worst ethnically targeted attacks in Burundi since the 1990s. The leaders of the armed group that claimed responsibility have not been brought to justice.