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UNICEF renews call for protection and safety of children amidst violence in Burundi

© UNICEF/NYHQ2015-1378/Pflanz
Two Burundian child refugees in Mahama refugee camp, Eastern Province, Rwanda

BUJUMBURA, Burundi / NAIROBI, Kenya, 27 May 2015 – UNICEF said today it is extremely concerned by evidence of the continued presence of children amidst violent confrontations in Burundi. This situation has led to the death of yet another child in a shooting Monday and the injury of a child struck by a bullet yesterday.

"UNICEF reminds all parties of their obligation to ensure the safety and protection of children in Burundi, and in particular to ensure that children are kept out of all political demonstrations and actions that put them at risk,” said UNICEF Regional Director for Eastern & Southern Africa, Leila Gharagozloo-Pakkala. “No child should be exposed to or witness violence. A child’s place is in safety and with family; not in the midst of violent confrontations.”

Respect for children’s rights is clearly established under Burundian and international law. Protecting children and upholding their rights is a shared responsibility, including of government and security forces. Children and youth in Burundi should not be involved in violent political actions, nor should they be mobilized to participate in hostilities under any circumstances.

Nearly 90,000 people, two-thirds of whom are women and children, have fled Burundi as refugees to countries including Tanzania, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. UNICEF is working with UNHCR, OHCHR, WHO and partners to support children in Burundi and those on the move.


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UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do.  Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org

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For more information please contact:

Eliane Luthi, Communications Specialist, UNICEF Burundi; + 257 22 20 20 00 (Main Line); + 257 71 81 93 88 (Mobile); eluthi@unicef.org

James Elder, UNICEF Regional Chief of Communication, Eastern & Southern Africa; Mobile: +254 71558 1222; jelder@unicef.org, twitter @1james_elder

Chris Tidey, UNICEF Media, Mobile: +1 917 909 9542; ctidey@unicef.org




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