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US 'Alarmed' By Reports of Rape, Torture in Burundi

Suspected fighters are paraded before the media by Burundian police near a recovered cache of weapons after clashes in the capital Bujumbura, Burundi, Dec. 12, 2015.
US 'Alarmed' By Rape, Torture in Burundi
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The U.S. State Department is “deeply alarmed” about reports of torture, killings and gang rapes of women by government security forces in Burundi.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner issued a statement Tuesday calling on the government in Burundi to permit an investigation. He also called on Burundi to allow African Union human rights observers to check for human rights infractions.

The government refused an offer by the African Union last month. The offer asked to send 5,000 peacekeepers to Burundi to halt violence. The government also refused to take part in talks with the political opposition.

Burundi was thrown into crisis last April when President Pierre Nkurunziza said he would seek a third term. That started street protests that led to violence between protesters and security forces.

Hundreds of people have died in the violence. Thousands of citizens of Burundi have fled their homeland.

I’m Marsha James.

The VOA news staff reported on this story for Jim Dresbach adapted this story for Learning English. Kathleen Struck was the editor.

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Words in This Story

gang rape – n. a crime in which one woman is raped by several men one after another

alarm – v. to cause someone to feel a sense of danger : to worry or frighten someone

infraction – n. an act that breaks a rule or law