UN rights chief appeals to parties in Burundi to implement peace agreements

News and Press Release
Originally published
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sergio Vieira de Mello, wrapped up a three-day trip to Burundi with a strong appeal to all parties to press ahead with the regional peace process and to exert every effort to protect civilians and end the recruitment of child soldiers.
Along with the protection of civilians and children in armed conflict, Mr. Vieira de Mello stressed the importance of strengthening Burundi's capacity to deal with human rights issues and reforming the judiciary.

His meetings yesterday with President Pierre Buyoya, Vice-President Domitien Nadyizeye and other senior officials included a strong appeal for broad commitment to the Arusha agreement as well as discussions about how his Office could support the overall peace process in Burundi.

The High Commissioner also called for end to the culture of impunity, emphasizing that trust could be restored through holding accountable those responsible for gross human rights violations, such as the massacre that took place in Itaba, and settling the issue of prisoners and detainees