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Robinson urges new government to protect human rights

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson has urged Burundi's newly installed transitional government to respect and protect the human rights of all Burundians in the ethnically charged nation.

Robinson's appeal on Wednesday came with her welcome of the power-sharing government installed on 1 Nov.; a fist step to the implementation of the Arusha accord signed on 28 Aug. 2000, between 19 political parties and the predominantly Tutsi-government of the time. "The Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement has important human rights dimensions," she said.

Her office in Burundi has been working with Burundians to help monitor the situation of human rights in the country, observe trials, support local human rights bodies, and to act for the promotion and protection human rights values.

"I consider that in the period ahead the monitoring of human rights, the administration of justice and strengthening of the rule of law, and promotional, prevention and protection activities will continue to be centre to the consolidation of peace," she said.

A UN report on the situation of human rights in Burundi released on 17 Oct. says "The situation of persons deprived of their liberty continues to improve slowly thanks to the reforms of the justice system, the improvement in the conditions of detention in some prisons and the support of the government, human rights associations and humanitarian organisations. However, in spite of everything, numerous irregularities persist."

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information:

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