General Nshimirimana’s killers in custody, Burundi gov’t says

General Adolphe Nshimirimana

Late General Adolphe Nshimirimana

Burundi’s top prosecutor has announced a number of suspected killers of former Internal Security Chief, General Adolphe Nhsimirimana have been apprehended and more are being sought.

In a statement released Sunday the prosecutor says “The identities of the perpetrators are now known” and “a certain number have been arrested. The rest of them and the masterminds are being sought.”

The Police have confirmed the arrests but declined divulging further details.

General Nshimirimana, a close ally of President Pierre Nkurunziza, and several of his bodyguards were assassinated in a rocket and gun fire attack over a week ago in Bujumbura.

According to eye witnesses, the top general’s attackers and killers were in full military uniform and they disappeared after spraying the general’s car with bullets.

The prosecutor’s statement says the suspected killers used a military vehicle they got from a military barracks in the capital Bujumbura and dumped and burned the truck after the attack.

Immediately Nshimirimana’s murder, President Pierre Nkurunziza tasked the country’s national police to investigate the incident, identify and arrest the suspects in 10 days.

The prosecutor’s revelation come within the 10-day window that president had set.

General Nshimirimana’s death has been condemned by the international community and human rights organisations, experts have warned his death, and the recent attempted assassination of a leading rights activist Pierre Claver Mbonimpa may push the central African state into a new “cycle of violence.”

Meanwhile, the United States has announced it is considering a range of sanctions to employ against those committing gross human rights offences in the ongoing conflict in Burundi.

“The US and other member states are looking at measures that we can take, such as travel bans, visa bans and so forth against those responsible for gross violations of human rights or murderous attacks.” The United States Ambassador to the United Nations said recently.

The international community has also urged the government and all stakeholders in the conflict to refrain from politically motivated attacks and instead get back to the negotiating table in an effort to resolve their differences.

Burundi has been distabilised by political violence since April when the ruling party CNDD-FDD nominated Pierre Nkurunziza for the controversial third term in presidential election.

The despite strong protests and appeals to drop his candidacy, the president contested and won the July 21 election by more than 69% of the vote.