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Burundi: Images of mass graves released

Burundi: Images of mass graves released


Satellite images showing five possible mass graves in Burundi have been released by Amnesty International.

The images are said to be consistent with witnesses reports that security forces in the country killed dozens of people, gathered their bodies and dumped them into mass graves in and around Burundi’s capital Bujumbura.

In the footage, a trail in a large field can be seen leading to an area filled with five mounds of dirt believed to be five separate mass graves.

“These images suggest a deliberate effort by the authorities to cover up the extent of the killings by their security forces and to prevent the full truth from coming out,” said Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty’s regional director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

The images were taken on December 22 last year, prior to the December 11 massacre which gives evidence of disturbed earth or a potential site.

Suspicions over the mass graves grew after the dead bodies could not be tracked down at local morgues.

It is believed dozens of people have been buried at the sites though there is no specific death count.

At least 439 people have been killed and more than 430,000 displaced since President Pierre Nkurunziza qualified for a third term in office, an election he eventually won.

The United Nations however estimates the death toll could be higher.