UN rights council approves inquiry into Burundi abuses

GENEVA - The U.N. Human Rights Council has approved the creation of a commission of inquiry to investigate human rights violations and abuses in Burundi over the last 17 months.

The council on Friday voted 19-7 with 21 abstentions to adopt a resolution calling for the commission to add to "the fight against impunity," identify alleged perpetrators and help improve human rights in the East African country.

Many Western and Latin American countries voted in favour. Russia, Cuba and Burundi itself — which has faced calls to be removed from the 47-member body — were among those against it.

Violence in Burundi soared after President Pierre Nkurunziza's contested decision last year to seek a third term, which critics called unconstitutional. Experts say abuses include at least 564 killings since April last year.

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