The United States has expressed serious concerns regarding recent statements made by Burundian President Evariste Ndayishimiye, who shockingly urged the public to stone members of the LGBT community. This alarming call has intensified the existing pressures faced by sexual minorities in Burundi, a nation where the LGBT community already struggles with widespread social exclusion and the risk of imprisonment for same-sex activities.
A Call for Dignity and Equal Rights
“The United States is deeply troubled by President Ndayishimiye’s remarks targeting certain vulnerable and marginalized Burundians,” stated Matthew Miller, a spokesperson for the U.S. State Department. The U.S. is advocating for the respect of the inherent dignity and unalienable rights of all individuals in Burundian society, including equal access to justice. However, the U.S. statement notably did not directly address the specific issue of the president’s call for stoning.
Regional Context of LGBT Oppression
This incident in Burundi is not isolated within the region. For instance, Uganda recently enacted a law imposing the death penalty for specific same-sex offenses, leading to severe international backlash, including sanctions and travel restrictions imposed by the United States. These measures highlight the ongoing struggle for LGBT rights in various parts of Africa and the international community’s response to such human rights violations.