From ... Associated Press
December 11, 1996
GENEVA (AP) -- Burundi's military has killed hundreds of returning Hutu refugees in the past two months, the United Nations said Wednesday.
"I am deeply disturbed by the deteriorating human rights situation in Burundi," said Jose Ayala Lasso, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights.
He urged Burundi's Tutsi-led government to end the killings, arbitrary arrests and property destruction.
Burundi's warring factions -- minority Tutsis and majority Hutus -- have agreed to open talks to end a three-year civil conflict that has claimed 150,000 lives.
In reports released Wednesday, U.N. human rights monitors who viewed bodies and talked to survivors in Burundi said about 1,500 civilians have been killed, mostly by the military. Rebel Hutu forces were responsible for some of the deaths, the reports said.
The October and November reports cataloged separate incidents day by day, paragraph by paragraph. Burundi authorities have confirmed some of the cases.
Often the numbers were precise, as in the case of two teachers and six students who were killed by soldiers Nov. 12 in the rural Bujumbura province.
But sometimes the monitors could report only that "several" persons or "a large number" killed.
Included in the reporters were some massacres previously reported, including the 298 returning refugees killed in a church on Oct. 22 in northwestern Burundi.
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