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There is also an upward trend in the discovery of dead bodies, including 22 that were discovered in January alone.Many of these violations have been blamed on the , a youth militia sponsored by the ruling CNDD-FDD party that operates outside the military chain of command and an increasingly central instrument to the regime’s power.Moreover, the Accords were widely seen as guiding a period of unprecedented stability and progress in Burundi—until the crisis of 2015 erupted.Even then, despite the government’s use of ethnic incitement, the crisis has not been marked by community-based interethnic violence.Angered by the scrutiny, the Nkurunziza government on October 11, 2016, stopped cooperating with UN agencies, including the UN Human Rights Council and the International Commission of Inquiry on Burundi.It also rejected the deployment of AU monitors and declined to consent to a 5,000-person AU civilian protection force and 220 unarmed UN police observers.An African Union fact finding mission has described violations by Burundi’s security forces as “pervasive, systematic, and massive.” And the UN Independent Investigation on Burundi has concluded that these actions were not by chance “or the result of a few bad actors, but stem from deliberate decisions and actions.” The Secretary General’s report also warns about the frequent use of hate speech and incitement to ethnic violence, including the issuing of a questionnaire by the Ministry of Civil Service on November 8, 2016, requesting all public servants to state their ethnicity.Such incidents harken back to the ethnic profiling that presaged the 19 genocides.
This commission’s motives were called into question when it conducted a series of provincial meetings discussing sweeping amendments to the constitution that would dismantle the Arusha Accords.
UNHCR expects this refugee figure to exceed half a million by the end of the year. An International Rescue Committee survey of refugees in Tanzania found that 80 percent of the refugees interviewed said they witnessed one killing before fleeing.
AU and UN investigations have corroborated prior reports of the existence of mass graves, with the UN warning of a new trend of people being killed in one location and buried elsewhere to avoid detection.
Indeed, most members of the opposition coalition are Hutu, as are the vast majority of Burundian refugees in Tanzania, who now number 234,578.
Over the past two years, however, it has become increasingly clear that undermining the Arusha Accords is a key objective of the Nkurunziza government.