Burundi: 9 Killed As President Vows to Crush Opponents

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Nine people have been killed in a Burundi gun attack after the president gave a chilling warning to opposition members on Friday.

President Pierre Nkurunziza’s government has put world officials on red alert by threatening to ‘pulverise’ the regime’s opponents. Burundi’s Senate President Reverien Ndikuriyo also appeared to hint of an upcoming genocide in the country.

 

Burundi echoes Rwanda genocide dialogue

“Today, the police shoot in the legs… but when the day comes that we tell them to go to ‘work,’ do not come crying to us,” was the statement from Ndikuriyo. The phrase ‘work’ was a euphemism used to describe mass killings in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide.

Opposition leaders have warned a genocide is on its way, while international bodies are on high alert. The UN has called for preventative measures to avoid further violence and another civil war in the country. Rwanda’s Paul Kagame has also condemned the conflict, warning the country could be on the verge of genocide.

Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza gave gunmen, opposition members and other ‘criminals’ against the state a five-day deadline to lay down arms last Monday. He described his order as the “last call” and promised the heaviest of reactions for those who failed to comply.

 

Nine killed by security forces in bar attack

Security forces have taken to the street since the deadline’s passing, reportedly going door-to-door in neighbourhoods considered opposition strongholds. At least nine were killed in a bar attack Saturday night in the Kanyosha area in southern Bujumbura.

The gunmen apparently ordered everyone seated at the bar’s terrace to move inside before they opened fire, shooting indiscriminately. The bar’s owner, his nephew and one employee were among those killed in the attack.

Come Sunday, security forces were searching homes in the Mutakura neighbourhood for unlicensed weapons. No civilians are allowed to leave or enter the neighbourhood while searches are in progress.

Security forces have been ordered to use all means necessary in its operation to disarm the opposition.

 

Featured image:

Pierre Nkurunziza – World Economic Forum on Africa 2008 1” by Copyright World Economic Forum (www.weforum.org)/Eric Miller, mailto:emiller@iafrica.com emiller@iafrica.com) – Pierre Nkurunziza – World Economic Forum on Africa 2008. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.