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On Burundi, Mbonimpa Tells ICP There Is No Media Freedom, Protection Needed

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 26 -- With Burundi troops accused of raping children as part of UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous' MINUSCA mission in the Central African Republic, as well as accused of abuses in Burundi itself, a new funding question has arisen. And the UN of Ban Ki-moon moved to evict Inner City Press, which is asking the question. It happened on April 16, video here and here (Periscope).

On April 26, there was a briefing in the UN Press Briefing Room by Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, Founder of the Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Incarcerated Persons (APRODH) and Agnes Kiromera Muvira of the Burundi Women and Girls’ Movement for Peace and Security. Tweeted photo here.

 Inner City Press asked about peacekeepers, the statement of media freedom given that Ban offered praise for Pierre Nkurunziza re-opening two of four closed radio statios and later, off camera, about the events in Mugamba, where Ban's spokesman has told Inner City Press only three people were detained.

   Mbonimpa made an impassioned plea for a protection force, including that Burundian forces outside of the country should be returned. He said there is no press freedom in Burundi: radio stations have been burned down and 100 journalist are in exile.

  Muvira told Inner City Press after the formal briefing ended that the two reopened stations are not opposition, that commitments as to coverage have to be made. She described killing and detention in Mugama much greater than the UN had admitted, and wondered why the UN of Ban Ki-moon is not doing more.
 The duo are to meet all 15 Security Council members, at the expert level, on April 27. We'll have more on this.


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