Another Opposition Leader Killed in Burundi

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Another opposition leader in Burundi has been shot dead by gunmen in the country’s capital Bujumbura.

Jean Baptiste Nsengiyumva of the Movement for Solidarity and Democracy (MSD) party was killed on Tuesday night, while walking back to his home. Police have said Nsengiyumva’s neighbour has been arrested on suspicion of being involved in the killing.

“Alarming upsurge” of bloodshed

On Monday the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed concern over an “alarming upsurge” of arrests and killings in Burundi. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein fears the nation risks plunging back into civil war, if violence continues to spiral out of control.

“Because crimes as serious as extra-judicial executions and torture are going unpunished, more people are looking to take the law into their own hands. There is an increasing risk that spiralling tit-for-tat violence will plunge the country back into its bloody past,” he said.

Opposition members living in fear

Violence has escalated in Burundi since April, when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he would run for an unconstitutional third term. Nkurunziza claimed victory, in what was a controversial and violent election, and the country has been in crisis ever since.

Members of opposition parties are among the most endangered. Less than a month ago a UPD Zigamibanga spokesman was killed outside his home in a similar attack. Opposition party members and others who publicly criticise the regime have to live in fear, knowing their lives are at risk.

The governor of Burundi’s Muramvya province, where the latest attack took place, condemned the killing and urged locals to act with caution.

“We strongly condemn this assassination aimed at disturbing security in the province. We ask the population to strengthen security in their neighbourhoods. We also call on those who illegally possess arms to hand them over,” he told Reuters.

 

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Burundi peacekeepers prepare for next rotation to Somalia, Bjumbura, Burundi 012210 (4324781393)” by US Army Africa from Vicenza, Italy – Burundi peacekeepers prepare for next rotation to Somalia, Bjumbura, Burundi 012210Uploaded by AlbertHerring. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons.