Burundi freezes opposition’s banks account

Burundian authority freezes bank accounts of dozen organizations and individuals accused of opposing Burundian President

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Organizations and individuals targeted are known for their opposition to President Pierre Nkurunziza.

A Burundian senior prosecutor has frozen the bank accounts of a dozen organizations and three civil society heads accused of opposing President Pierre Nkurunziza.

Valentin Bagorikunda, Burundian Attorney General, made the notice on Monday with an official letter to the banks of the organizations involved.

Juvenal Ndayishimiye, Magistrate at the Prosecutor's Office, told Anadolu Agency that Burundian authorities had frozen their accounts because "investigations have shown that these individuals and organizations have some responsibility in the insurgency that caused damage worth billions of Burundian Francs" across the country.

The people and organizations concerned are Pacifique Nininahazwe, the chairman of the Forum for Development and Consciousness (Focode); Vital Nshimirimana, the head of the Forum for the Reinforcement of the Civil Society; Armel Niyongere, the head of the Christian Association Against Torture (ACAT) and the Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Detained Persons.   

The three individuals are in exile outside the country for six months.

Moise Nkurunziza, deputy spokesman of the Burundian police, told Anadolu Agency that a Burundian prosecutor took the decision after four people were killed in a renewed wave of violence in Burundian capital Bujumbura on Sunday.

US imposes sanctions on Burundian officials 

President Barack Obama on Monday authorized sanction on Burundian officials involved in the country’s ongoing violence.

The White House stressed that the sanction “is not targeted at the people of Burundi”, but is instead focused on government officials and armed groups who “contribute to the turmoil there.”

The four blacklisted individuals by the US include: Public Security Minister Guillaume Bunyoni; National Police Deputy Director-General Godefroid Bizimana; former Intelligence Chief Major General Godefroid Niyombare and former Defense Minister Cyrille Ndayirukiye.

The imposed sanctions also include properties within the US owned by the named individuals will now be blocked or frozen, and US nationals are prevented from conducting business with them. Additional visa restrictions will also be imposed, according to the White House.

“We have received multiple, credible, and ongoing reports of targeted killings, arbitrary arrests, torture, and political repression by security forces, as well as violence and abuses by youth militia affiliated with the ruling party,” National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

“Recent dangerous rhetoric by government officials has further contributed to the climate of fear and risks inciting further violence,” he added.

Crisis in Burundi has killed almost 200 people and injured at least 500 since late April, as more than 200,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries, according to UN reports.

TRTWorld and agencies