Gunmen attack parliament member in Burundi

Attack carried out by former advisor to Burundi president targeting member of parliament kills police officer, wound civilians

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Armed gunmen lie on the ground while holding rifles in the center of Bujumbura, Burundi, November 20, 2015.

A member of the parliament from Burundi’s ruling party was shot on Friday while he was driving to the general assembly.

The MP stated that the attackers killed a police officer and wounded others.

One of the attackers who was arrested, led police to a large illegal arms cache of rifles, grenades and other weapons.

The attack is the latest in a series of attacks that have targeted pro-government officials, opposition politicians and state officials, the attacks are causing serious concern of a possible ethnic conflict among other regional powers, Western investors and politicians.

According to media sources, President Pierre Nkurunziza’s former adviser Zenon Ndaruvukanye was the driver of the car that opened fired with an automatic rifle at the lawmaker.

The conflict in Burundi started in 1993 and formally ended with the swearing in of Pierre Nkurunziza in August 2005. The estimated death toll stands at 300,000.

But the crisis deepened when Nkurunziza said in April he would run for a third term in office and won a disputed election.

Opposition says another five-year term for Nkurunziza will damage the 2005 peace deal that ended the civil war.

In May alone Burundi faced protests, a failed coup attempt and a range of political killings.

Up to now, opposing camps have represented rival political allegiances, but experts say the longer the crisis continues, the more chance old ethnic divisions will once again emerge.

The 12-year civil war pitted rebel groups of the ethnic Hutu majority against the army, which was at the time led by the ethnic Tutsi minority. Nkurunziza led one of the main Hutu rebel groups, and Ndaruvukanye was one of his commanders.

TRTWorld and agencies