SA urged to be ‘more vocal on rape as a weapon of war in Burundi’
The South African government was urged to intervene in Burundi where‚ a coalition of 33 civil society organisations said‚ rape is being used “as a weapon of war”.
“The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights‚ Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein‚ has called attention to the high levels of sexual violence engulfing the country‚” the National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence (NSP on GBV) said in a joint statement.
“A breakdown in law allows those perpetrating these heinous acts to not only continue to do so‚ but also to get away with it. Additionally‚ victims are unable to access justice.”
The campaign asked the South African government‚ “given its leading role in mediating and ending the previous civil war” in the country‚ “to be more vocal and to advocate on behalf of those vulnerable and those unable to in Burundi‚ for mechanisms that will restore stability and the rule of law”.
“We urge our government to use its influence as the negotiator of the Arusha Peace Accords‚ to ensure that all relevant parties come to the table to discuss ways in which to move forward.” NSP on GBV also urged the African Union and the United Nations “to provide protective action for the people of Burundi‚ particularly women and children‚ to ensure that no further harm befalls them”.