Armed Men Break Into UN Human Rights Office in Burundi

Armed Men Break Into UN Human Rights Office in Burundi

FILE – (L-R) Francoise Hampson, Fatsah Ouguergouz and Reine Alapini Gansou, members of the UN Commission of inquiry on Burundi attend a news conference at the United Nations Office in Geneva, Sept. 4, 2017.

A group of armed men broke into the compound of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Burundi’s capital, Bujumbura, early Wednesday.

The incident occurred a week after a U.N. commission of inquiry reported possible crimes against humanity in Burundi, including extrajudicial executions, arbitrary arrests, torture, sexual violence and enforced disappearances.

FILE – Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza arrives for the celebrations to mark Burundi’s 55th anniversary of independence at the Prince Louis Rwagasore stadium in Bujumbura, Burundi, July 1, 2017.

The country has been in a state of political turmoil since President Pierre Nkurunziza ran for and won a controversial third term in 2015.

There was no immediate word on damage or casualties from the break-in.

The armed men forced their way into the U.N. compound after overpowering security officers, according to a reporter for VOA’s Central Africa Service.

Elizabeth Throssell, a media officer for the U.N. human rights office in Geneva, described the incident as an “attack” on the Bujumbura office.

“It is being investigated and we are not in a position to give any more information until the investigation is complete,” she said in a statement.

Speaking to VOA, police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye said police had not received reports or a complaint about the incident.