Two people shot dead, vehicles torched as violence escalates in Burundi

A destroyed tricycle in Musaga

A destroyed tricycle in Musaga

Following the recent assassination of General Adolphe Nshimirimana, the head of Internal Security and Monday’s attempted assassination of a leading Human Rights activist Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, another person has been shot dead and two cars set on fire as violence spirals out of control in Burundi.

These consecutive incidents have increased tension in the capital Bujumbura. In the evening of Monday, youths in several anti-government neighborhoods barricaded roads in bid to deny police forces access.

Violence remained high during Monday night while the government remains silent about the assassination attempt on Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa.

Throughout the night, grenade explosions and sporadic gunshots rocked Bujumbura, one person was shot dead in Cibitoke neighborhood, while two vehicles in Musaga, and a tricycle in Cibitoke, were set ablaze.

Totally burnt car in Cibitoke

Totally burnt car in Cibitoke

Also, the leader of the ruling party CNDD-FDD’s youth militia Imbonerakure, Come Harerimana was shot dead while riding his motorcycle near Bujumbura.

The police has arrested two suspects in Harerimana’s murder but there has been no arrests in the general’s murder and Mbonimpa’s attempted assassination.

The situation is tense in the capital Bujumbura, especially evenings and nights.

Residents are afraid of a possible escalation of violence following recent incidents.

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Watch has condemned Mr. Mbonimpa’s assassination attempt. In his statement released this Tuesday, Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch, urged Burundian authorities to take immediate steps to secure Mbonimpa’s safety and protection.

According to HRW, the general’s assassination and the attempt on Mbonimpa’s life are likely to ignite further tensions in a rapidly deteriorating political and security environment in Burundi.

“The Burundian government should act promptly to prevent these two shocking attacks from triggering further violence,” Bekele said adding “the president and senior officials should publicly appeal for calm, warn against revenge attacks, and ensure that those responsible for these acts are brought to justice without delay.”