Burundian ex-army commander shot dead

Col. Jean Bikomagu

Col. Jean Bikomagu

The former army commander of Burundi military Colonel Jean Bikomagu has been gunned down outside his home in the capital Bujumbura by unidentified assailants.

His daughter was also injured in the latest high profile assassination and assassination attempt this month that is threatening to push the country on brink of a civil war.

Bikomangu was the commander of the Tutsi-dominated during the same period the current president Pierre Nkurunziza was commanding the Hutu side in the civil war that came to an end with the latter becoming president in 2005.

Bikomangu’s shooting-death follows that of General Adolphe Nshimirimana, the head of the country’s Internal Security and a close ally of President Nkurunziza, and the attempted assassination of leading rights activist Pierre Claver Mbonimpa earlier this month.

Mponimpa has since been evacuated to Belgium for further treatment.

The former army chief’s assassination has the hallmarks of the ‘political motivated killings’ the international community including the African Union, United Nations and the United States have condemned and warned against.

Burundi has experienced political instability since April when the ruling CNDD-FDD nominated Nkurunziza for the controversial third term. He won the July 21 presidential election but the violence hasn’t let up.