UN, AU condemn murder of Burundian former army chief Col. Bikomagu

Col. Jean Bikomagu (L)former Army Chief of Staff and Gen. Adolphe Nshimirimana's assassinations this month have led to growing fears of a "new cycle" of violence in Burundi

Col. Jean Bikomagu (L)former Army Chief of Staff and Gen. Adolphe Nshimirimana’s assassinations this month have led to growing fears of a “new cycle” of violence in Burundi

The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon has condemned Saturday’s assassination of Colonel Jean Bikomagu, former Army Chief of Staff, by unknown assailants in Bujumbura.

Bikomagu was shot dead as he drove through his gates at home, one his daughters was also badly injured in the attack.

In a press release issued this Monday, The Secretary-General is troubled by the trend of politically motivated violence in Burundi.

Ban Ki-moon is urging authorities in Bujumbura to carry out investigations, arrests and trials of the perpetrators behind the recent killings.

The UN Secretary General has called on all Burundians to resume an inclusive dialogue without delay to peacefully settle their differences.

Moon has reiterated the commitment of the United Nations to support the efforts aimed at consolidating peace and stability in Burundi.

Ban Ki-Moon statement echoes the Chairperson of the African Union Commission Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma who warned that the assassination of Colonel Bikomagu and the “numerous other acts of violence recorded in recent months illustrate once again the seriousness of the situation prevailing in Burundi and the potential of further escalation, with catastrophic consequences both for the country itself and for the region as a whole.”

The Chairperson of the Commission has stressed “once again the need for dialogue and consensus to find a peaceful and lasting solution to the current crisis and preserve the significant gains achieved thanks to the 2000 Arusha Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Burundi and the 2003 Comprehensive Ceasefire Agreement.”

Dr. Zuma appealed to stakeholders in the conflict to show ultimate restraint and demonstrate conciliatory spirit at this critical juncture in the history of their country.

She has condemned all abuses of human rights and other violations of civil liberties. She also called for a transparent and credible investigation to identify the perpetrators of the murders and quickly bring them to justice.

Meanwhile President Pierre Nkurunziza is expected to be sworn-in not later than August 26 for his controversial 3rd term, that has plunged Burundi into turmoil since April when the governing CNDD-FDD nominated the president to be the flag bearer in the just concluded presidential poll.

After foiling the May 13 coup attempt, President Nkurunziza regained control of government and tightened grip on his third term bid with security forces, especially police, becoming much more ruthless and showing no mercy to protesters.

Fire arms and brutality have been used to vehemently quell the protests and silence whoever showed their opposition to Nkurunziza’s 3rd term bid, in the wake of the failed coup.

The recent high profile assassinations and assassination attempts have fueled talk of politically motivated violence experts say might push Burundi over the edge,

There’s a growing sense of fear and uncertainty in the country especially the capital Bujumbura due to continuous gunshots and grenade explosions reported very often here and there.

President Pierre Nkurunziza given a one week deadline to the Judiciary and law enforcement to identify perpetrators of Bikomagu’s killing and bring them to justice.

The president issued a similar ultimatum earlier this month following the murder of Lt-Gen. Adolphe Nshimirimana, former head of internal security, but the masterminds of the attack are still at large although the government announced some arrests within the ten-day window the president had set