September 28, 2017 / 3:33 PM / 2 years ago

U.N. agrees new team of experts for Burundi; EU, US decry move

Vendors carry away their grocery. Burundi's capital Bujumbura, February 3, 2016. REUTERS/Jean Pierre Aime Harerimama

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations Human Rights Council agreed on Thursday to an African resolution to send a team of three experts to work with Burundi government in pursuing perpetrators of “deplorable crimes”.

The European Union (EU) and United States spoke out strongly against the last-minute text presented by the Africa Group, which was adopted by a vote of 23 states in favour, 14 against, with 9 abstentions at the 47-member Geneva forum.

“The text in no way reflects the scale or severity of the situation in Burundi,” the Latvia delegation said on behalf of the EU, adding that the last-minute manoeuvre “presents a dangerous precedent for the Council”.The fate of an existing U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Burundi, which said this month that top-level Burundian officials should be held accountable for atrocities possibly amounting to crimes against humanity, was not immediately clear.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay and Tom Miles; Editing by Toby Chopra

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