The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) announced Wednesday morning that it is "deeply concerned" over the increasingly violent political situation in Burundi, which has resulted in humanitarian consequences.

Public statements encouraging violence against different groups, from political opposition groups to women and girls, were condemned in the UNSC's announcement. Burundian officials were urged to "cease and reject" the violence, Eyewitness News said. The violence and instability has resulted in "nearly 202,000 internally displaced persons, 3 million people in need and more than 416,000 Burundians seeking refuge in neighbouring countries," the statement said.

The UNSC reaffirmed its commitment to track down those who continue to threaten Burundi's peace, security, and stability. The announcement comes two weeks after the country's teenage robotics team disappeared from the international robotics competition in Washington, D.C.

Civil unrest in Burundi

Government officials have tortured and killed political opponents since President Pierre Nkurunziza sought a third term in 2015. Opponents boycotted the election, ensuring Nkurunziza's victory.

Burundi's security forces and the Imbonerakure, the ruling party's youth militia, are responsible for vast human rights violations and abuses. They have tortured, raped, impregnated, abused, extorted, forced disappearances, and killed perceived political opponents, women's organizations, human right's organizations, journalists, women and girls, and businesses.

Grenade attacks on civilian populations have also occurred.

The UNSC said it expects Burundi's 2020 elections to be "free, fair, transparent, peaceful, fully inclusive, with the participation of all political parties, and will ensure the full and equal participation of women throughout the process."


The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) withdrew Burundi's right to host October's summit.

A common market or customs union is a group of countries with the same, set import duty to allow for free trade between each other. By removing trade barriers and integrating the economies, member countries can achieve greater political and economic cooperation, according to Investopedia.

The secretary general of COMESA said Burundi lacked the infrastructure to hold the summit.

Burundi does not have reliable internet, transportation, and hotel accommodations for the 19 delegations. A COMESA delegation recently went to assess the hotel accommodations, eNCA said, but the Burundian government did not allow them to visit the hotels. Nkurunziza did not attend the 2016 secretariat meeting -- a requirement to host the summit. Zambia will now host it instead.