UN Burundi office lashes out at local media for their coverage of the corruption scandal
UN mission in Burundi unhappy with local press
Bujumbura, Burundi, 11/20 - The UN Operation in Burundi (UNOB) is strongly "concerned about the serious breaches" observed in recent days in some local media, UNOB officials told PANA.
In a statement issued in Bujumbura on Saturday, the UNOB blames
the media for carrying "rumours of any kind and (levelling) spurious accusations" against it.
UNOB cited in its statement that it learned this week through the press that blue helmet military uniforms were allegedly found with members of the Hutu People`s Liberation Party/National Liberation Front (PALIPEHUTU-FNL, rebellion).
The approach used by a local radio establishing a link between the fact of finding uniforms of UN peacekeepers and connivance between UNOB and the rebellion has been vigorously denounced by the UN mission, describing them as "serious and groundless accusations."
"Such an accusation is prejudicial to the UNOB mission and relations between the Burundian people and the UN," the statement emphasised.
Both Burundian private and state-controlled media continue to treat the UN military uniforms affair, thus increasingly worsening the relations between the UN mission and the local media.
On Friday, the Burundian minister of foreign relations and international cooperation, Antoinette Batumubwira, told the press and foreign diplomats that she deplored "serious negligence" by some blue helmets, but, she continued, these "breaches" should not tarnish the UN institution. Meanwhile, Burundian and UN military officials have opened an investigation into the uniform affair.
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