Ex-general shot dead in Burundi

Former Tutsi general shot dead by gunman in capital of Burundi

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Unknown gunman shot dead Burundi’s army ex-chief of staff Colonel Jean Bikomagu on Saturday.

The killing of the former commander is the second high-profile killing this month which linked to the disputed re-election of President Pierre Nkurunziza who won a third, five-year term as president in spite of the bloody confrontations since last April.

Nkurunziza had won 69.41 percent of the votes cast. Nkrunziza's nearest rival, Agathon Rwasa, took 18.99 percent, in the disputed election.

According to a witness, former chief of staff was assaulted and shot dead when he returned from church with his daughter on Saturday in the capital and the biggest city Bujumbura, Reuters reports.

In early August a gunman also killed a Burundian former security chief who was close to Nkurunziza and one day later a political opponent to the president, also a human rights activist was also shot in his office.

Willy Nyamitwe, presidency spokesman put his condolences to death of the former commander on Facebook.

"Another black weekend in Burundi. Blackened by the assassination of a senior member of the Burundian army in retirement, Colonel Jean Bikomagu ...Very sad, very shocking," said Nyamitwe.

In 1993, when the Brundian civil war started, Bikomagu as a Tutsi, led the armed forces and fought with Hutus' leader as ex-rebel and now with President Nkurunziza.

A peace deal was settled in 2005 and estimated death toll stands at 300,000.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights' office in Geneva said on Friday, at least 96 people had been killed since April related with elections riots.

"He was in front of his gate, ready to enter his home, when a gunman who pulled out of the back of a motorcycle shot at him," the witness described the former chief Bikomagu's death as an assassination, Reuters reports.

"He was not killed by bandits and there was no money stolen, it's something else," said a relative who also did not wish to be named.

The presidency spokesman said the murderers will catch and issued an appeal "that anger and desire for revenge are contained by respect for justice and the desire to live together."

100,000 people moved from Burundi in 2015 due to tensions in the country.



TRTWorld and agencies