Statement on violence in Burundi
Ms Dholakia said:
The UK remains gravely concerned about the situation in Burundi. Violence continues daily. We are particularly alarmed at increasing reports of human rights abuses, including sexual violence, assassinations and disappearances; as well as hate speech and incitement to violence.
We continue to call on all parties to take urgent steps to end the violence and restore the protections given to the people of Burundi in their Constitution and the Arusha Accords.
We welcome the commitments made by President Pierre Nkurunziza during the UN Secretary General's visit on 23 February to release 2,000 prisoners detained since protests broke out in April; cancel arrest warrants; engage in dialogue with the opposition; and re-open two media outlets.
We also welcome the visit to Burundi this week by the delegation of African Heads of State (South Africa, Gabon, Ethiopia, Mauritania and Senegal) led by President Zuma of South Africa. This is another important opportunity for President Nkurunziza to demonstrate his commitment to dialogue.
The Government of Burundi must now move quickly to deliver on these commitments and participate fully in an inclusive political process outside of Burundi.