Country Risk

Armed raid on UN office in Burundian capital indicates increased risk to Western diplomats, NGO workers, journalists

15 September 2017


Six armed men broke into and ransacked the premises of the United Nations' Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura, at around 2.30 am local time on 13 September.

Burundian police statements at first suggested that the story of the raid was fabricated, and subsequently claimed to have ruled out an attack while having arrested two guards. This followed the 4 September publication of an OHCHR report alleging continuing human rights violations in Burundi and calling for an International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation. This resulted on 9 September in the latest in a series of government-sponsored anti-UN protests in Bujumbura, for which the turnout was reportedly lower than usual, and which called for the arrest of the OHCHR report authors, none of whom was present in Burundi.

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