DELIVERED BY UN Human Rights spokesperson Seif Magango
We are closely following the human rights situation in Burkina Faso after last week’s coup. 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.
We remain troubled by the dire security and humanitarian situation facing the civilian population in the North-Central and Sahel regions who face daily threats of violence from non-state armed groups. Credible reports suggest that at least eight children died of malnutrition recently in Djibo town, which has been besieged by non-state armed groups since May 2022. The last convoy that attempted to deliver humanitarian assistance to the town on 26 September was attacked by armed groups, leaving 37 people dead, among them 10 civilians.
We are also deeply concerned by the decision to suspend all political and civil society activities. We urge the military authorities to immediately rescind this arbitrary decision and effectively protect all human rights.
We note that the authorities have pledged to deal decisively with “terrorism”, however, we caution that all military operations, including those against non-state armed groups, must fully comply with international human rights law as well as applicable international humanitarian law and ensure effective protection of the civilian population.
We call on Burkina Faso to institute prompt, thorough and impartial investigations into all coup-related deaths and injuries - including those of at least four people killed and eight others injured in looting and pro-coup demonstrations since 30 September - and ensure that those found 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.
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