The United Nations (UN) has warned that Burundi is on the brink of a civil war amid continued human rights abuses in the small Central African state.
Burundi has been embroiled in political violence since President Pierre Nkurunziza announced last April that he would seek a third term.
At least 439 people had been killed and more than 250,000 had fled the country.
The United Nations is under growing pressure to show it can halt the bloodshed in Burundi, more than two decades after the 1994 genocide in neighboring Rwanda.
U.N. Rights Chief, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, said there was no indication of a decline in reports of arbitrary arrests and detentions and there was an increase in reports of torture and ill-treatment.
“Continued human rights violations and impunity for perpetrators mean that many of Burundi’s people live in terror.
“The country remains on the brink of a sudden escalation of violence to even more massive proportions, ” Zeid said.
In January, the 15-member Security Council made its second visit to the landlocked state in less than a year, where fears of an ethnic war also led to an economic crisis. U.N. Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon also visited in February.
“I expressed my profound worry that the potential spiraling of violence risks relapse into civil war.
“I urge the government to take measures to address the continued violence and the impunity that fuels it,” Ban told the Security Council.