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Irwin Cotler, MP



Statement on the Situation in Burundi

Posted on May 29, 2015

Hon. Irwin Cotler (Mount Royal, Lib.):

Mr. Speaker, the Burundian diaspora in Canada, members of which are in the gallery today, is alarmed by the political and humanitarian crisis in Burundi.

Ever since President Nkurunziza declared his intention to run for a third term, with no regard for the Constitution, the country has been rocked by demonstrations and a violent campaign of repression perpetrated by the police and armed militia.

Opposition members, human rights advocates and journalists have been targeted, and the leader of an opposition party was assassinated on Saturday.

In Burundi, there are currently more than 100,000 refugees, as well as hundreds injured and dozens dead. A number of countries and international organizations have already cut off their financial aid to the Burundian government and are calling for the election to be postponed.

Canada must fast-track family reunification and immigration applications, stop deportations to Burundi, and join in the efforts of the international community to ensure that human rights are being respected in Burundi.