Burundians continue to suffer FNL atrocities - But Rwasa's child soldiers are victims too. HRW also reports shocking new abuses by government forces.
Burundian child soldier demobilised in 2004. Hundreds more, some as young as nine, remain in the FNL
From Human Rights Watch, November 4 2005
"In Musugi hill, Kanyosha commune, Bujumbura-rurale province, local witnesses report that the FNL killed two civilians who lived near a military position and had worked collecting food and water for the soldiers. Both were found decapitated on October 26. According to government officials, Laurent Ntibarushatse, an elected hill-level leader from Gitenga, Kabezi commune in the same province, was killed by the FNL on October 28. Arthémon Ntahondereye, a local official in Kanyosha commune, was found dead on Buhina hill on October 7, with one of his arms severed. Local witnesses believe that the FNL combatants assassinated him. Military officials report that six people in the same family were killed by the FNL in Mutambu commune, Bujumbura Rural Province on the night of October 30. In other killings attributed to the FNL, a candidate running for councilor in hill-level elections was killed with two members of his family on September 22 in Mugina commune, Cibitoke province, and five civilians— several of them demobilized FDD combatants—were killed in Bubanza province in late September. Human Rights Watch could not independently verify that the FNL were responsible for all of these killings.
FNL combatants also reportedly burned homes in four different communities in Kayanza province and stole cows, goats, and household goods in early October. They are also accused of injuring six people in an ambush and stealing their property. According to press accounts, witnesses said that most of the perpetrators were under 18 years old"
The latest Human Rights Watch briefing also reports widespread abuses by the armed forces of the new Burundian government, including rape and killings of ordinary civilians by indisciplined soldiers and police, torture and extra-judicial killings of suspected FNL combatants and sympathisers, and the harassment of people linked to the opposition Frodebu party. This campaign urges the Burundian government to end these abuses, and punish the officials who have been carrying them out.
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