Tuesday, October 25, 2016

In Burundi, Journalists Steers and Gildas Arrested, Silence Echoed by Ban Ki-moon's UN

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITES NATIONS, October 23 -- Amid warnings in Burundi of the risk of genocide, when UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on September 24 met with the country's foreign minister Alain Aime Nyamitwe, Inner City Press went to cover it as closely as possible.

   The meeting went less than twenty minutes, but took nearly three hours for Ban's office to summarize. Inner City Press live-streamed the handshake and book signing on Periscopeas it did Alain Aime Nyamitwe's speech in the General Assembly hall. But when Ban's office issued a read-out, seemingly negotiated with Burundi, it did not mention the deployment of 228 UN Police, much less the UN's risk of genocide report.

Now in Burundi, with Ban Ki-moon silent except for his planned run for South Korea president, it seems thegovernment has arrested journalists Julia Steers, an American, and Gildas Yihundimpundu, a Burundian whose station Radio Bonesha was burned down and closed by the government -- while Ban praised Nkurunziza for “re-opening” two pro-government stations.

   This comes as the penholder in the UN Security Council describes a “good dynamic,” and as Ban's envoy is IN Burundi. Even in New York, when a photo of Burundi's Ambassador's empty seat during the first speech by Ban's successor Antonio Guterres is tweeted out, threats including death threats ensue. Then again, today's UN has no respect for freedom of the press, even in its own headquarters, evicting its perceived critics and restricting them to minders.

In Burundi, there's this "list."

So where are the US, UK, EU and others on this? Watch this site.