Burundi youth militia sings of 'impregnating' opposition

AP News
Posted: Apr 05, 2017 9:55 AM

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Rights activists in Burundi are condemning an online video in which members of a pro-government youth militia sing about impregnating the regime's opponents.

The song reflects the "climate of impunity" enjoyed by the ruling party's youth group, the iBurundi activist group said.

In the video, Imbonerakure members sing in the local Kirundi language: "Impregnate those opponents, so that they give birth to Imbonerakure." The video was filmed in a rural province.

Burundi's ruling party has criticized the song, saying it "does not match either the morals or the ideology" of the party.

Burundi has been plagued by violence since President Pierre Nkurunziza successfully sought a disputed third term in 2015. Hundreds of people have been killed, and hundreds of thousands have fled the country.

The ruling party normally supports the Imbonerakure despite accusations of rights violations perpetrated by its members.

In January, Human Rights Watch reported that Imbonerakure members had "brutally killed, tortured, and severely beaten scores of people across the country in recent months." Abuses included driving a knife into the eye of one victim and beating a 15-year-old boy to death, the rights group said, accusing Burundi's government of being unwilling to restrain members of the group.

iBurundi called the songs about impregnating opposition members "appalling" because many cases of rape have been attributed to Imbonerakure members.

"Several women in refugee camps have reported being raped by the youth militia," the group said. "What's sad is the climate of impunity that those who commit crimes such as rape, torture and killings enjoy."