Burundian official killed as conflict rages

Burundian official of ruling party killed amid rising political tensions in country

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

President Pierre Nkurunziza makes a brief statement at the presidential palace in Bujumbura, Burundi, Sunday May 17, 2015.

Local leader of Burundi’s ruling party, Come Harerimana, was attacked and killed in the capital, Bujumbura, officials said on Wednesday, making this incident the third high-profile attack within three days.

Harerimana, president of the CNDD FDD chapter in the Kanyosha district, was on his way to his office via a motor bike when a crowd threw stones at him, the officials said.

He was then pulled from the motorcycle and shot dead.

Residents of Cibitoke, a district of Bujumbura that have become used to witnessing frequent clashes, stated that gunshots could be heard throughout Tuesday night and early Wednesday and that the police have been searching for weapons since then.

Since an ethnically-driven civil war ended in 2005, Burundi has been dragged through its worst political crisis.

The bloody unrest over Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza’s third term bid sparked violent protests and plunged the country in an unprecedented crises which killed over 300,000 people, a move his opponents and the West said violated the constitution and corrupted the peace deal that put an end to the war.

Nkurunziza was announced the winner of the July 21 election following months of street protests and a foiled coup.

On Sunday, Nkurunziza's former security chief General Adolphe Nshimirimana was killed and a day later a leading human rights activist, Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, was seriously wounded in a gun attack near his home.

Nkurunziza called for calm and said Burundians must not "fall in the trap of revenge," in an address to the nation following the killing of Nshimirimana, who at the time of his death was in charge of the president's personal security.

African leaders fear the violence could lead the country directly towards another civil war, a worrying prospect for a region still scarred by the 1994 genocide in neighbouring Rwanda where 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutus were slaughtered.




TRTWorld and agencies