Burundi bans oldest rights group

Burundi authorities have banned the country’s oldest human rights organisation, which had continued reporting abuses despite being suspended when political turmoil broke out nearly two years ago. A ministerial order made public on Tuesday accused the Iteka League of “continuing to tarnish the image of the country and sowing hatred and division among the population.” The rights group, established in 1991, took part in a two-year investigation with the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) which resulted in a report released in November documenting state-sponsored violence and warning of the risk of genocide. “We are not surprised by this decision [because] it confirms that the Burundi government continues to do everything to prevent the reporting of serious violations of human rights,” Iteka president Anschaire Nikoyagize, who lives in exile, told AFP.