Press Releases

    16 August 2004

    Secretary-General “Shocked and Outraged” by Massacre of Civilian Refugees in Burundi

    NEW YORK, 15 August (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

    The Secretary-General is shocked and outraged by the massacre in the Gatumba refugee camp during the night of 13 August in Burundi, where more than 160 innocent civilians, mostly women and children, were brutally murdered, and over 100 others injured.

    The Secretary-General strongly condemns this massacre and stresses that it must be promptly investigated, so that those responsible are identified, apprehended and brought to justice.

    The Secretary-General urges the Transitional Governments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Burundi and the Government of Rwanda to exercise restraint and to take the steps necessary to prevent a further deterioration of the situation in the region. 

    He calls on the Governments of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda to urgently establish a joint verification mechanism, with the participation of Uganda and Burundi, which will assist in curbing the actions of armed groups operating in the border areas.  The Secretary-General offers all support to these governments to help them to restore peace and stability and to put an end to the tensions that have caused so much suffering to innocent people in the region.

    The Secretary-General extends his deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims of this terrible tragedy.

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