The UN human rights office, OHCHR, has called for investigations into deaths and injuries resulting from last week’s coup in Burkina Faso, Spokesperson Seif Magango said on Friday.
Staff are closely following the human rights situation in the West African country since soldiers ousted Paul-Henri Damiba, who had also seized power in a coup 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,” said Mr. Magango.
“However, we remain concerned that multiple allegations of human rights violations continue to be reported from many parts of the country.”
Call for justice
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 other injured, in looting and demonstrations.
They must also ensure persons responsible are held to account, said Mr. Magango.
“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.
Security and humanitarian concerns
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.
Credible reports suggest that at least eight children died of malnutrition recently in Djibo town, which has been under siege since May, said Mr. Magango.
The last convoy that attempted to deliver humanitarian assistance on 26 September was attacked by armed groups, leaving 37 people dead, including 10 civilians.
Mr. Magango also expressed OHCHR’s deep concern over the arbitrary decision to suspend all political and civil society activities, which should be rescinded.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.