International Community condemns Burundian top general’s assassination, warns against revenge killings

The deceased general's destroyed a car at the scene of the shooting

The deceased general’s destroyed car at the scene of the shooting

From AU to US, members of the International Community have condemned Sunday’s rocket and gun fire killing of General Adolphe Nshimirimana, a prominent general in the Burundian army and a close ally of President Pierre Nkurunziza.

General Nshimirimana, former head of Intelligence and Internal Security chief at the time of his death, was killed Sunday morning along with several of his bodyguards, in a drive-by rocket and gun fire attack by unknown assailants in military uniform in Kamenge neighbourbood in the capital Bujumbura.

In a statement Sunday, The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma was “horrified” at the general’s and his bodyguards killing and conveyed condolences to the Burundian government and the families of the deceased.

Dr.Zuma strongly condemned the “barbaric act that is likely to further destabilise the country. She calls on all Burundians to exercise utmost restraint, not be provoked and to refrain from any acts of retaliation that would only further escalate and complicate the already bad situation.”

Like the AU Commission Chairperson, the United States has denounced Gen. Nshimirimana’s murder urging “calm and restraint in the aftermath of the attack.”

The US State Department Sunday said in a press release “we call on all sides to renounce violence and to redouble their efforts to engage in a transparent, inclusive, and comprehensive political dialogue.”

The European Union also has echoed the African Union and the United States saying “the use of violence can never contribute to the country out of the current political impasse,”

In his address to the nation Sunday, President Nkurunziza calmed Burundians and warned against vengeance.

“I urge the people of Burundi to avoid falling in the trap of carrying out revenge attacks. That is precisely what our enemies want us to do. The killers of Gen Adolphe want to portray a negative picture of our nation – that we are killing each other,” Nkurunziza said.

He also tasked the country’s police to identify the general’s killers within 10 days.

Gen. Nshimirimana’s killing has dealt a big blow to the Burundian government as he was a close friend and confidant of the president.

He is believed to be the man who helped salvage Nkuruziza’s regime in May when renegade generals attempted a coup against the president as he was in Tanzania attending a heads of state summit on the crisis in Burundi.

Many coup plotters were killed and arrested by the Burundian military and the police in the days following the foiled coup.

According to the Human Rights Watch, General Nshimirimana’s had been accused of torture and murder and arrests of anti-Nkurunziza third term protestors.

“Despite or perhaps because of his brutal reputation, Adolphe was generally seen as untouchable, with no one in a position of power daring, or even suggesting, holding him to account.” Human Rights Watch’s Carina Tertsakian told US News & World Report.

There has been reports of Sunday overnight gun fire and grenade attacks in the capital Bujumbura and a number of police officers have been injured.