Three killed in Bu­rundi as poll vi­o­lence builds

Gov­ern­ment re­jects in­ter­na­tional in­quiry to iden­tify per­pe­tra­tors

The Star (Kenya) - - News -

REUTERS/ A rul­ing party of­fi­cial and two oth­ers were killed in a bar in south­ern Bu­rundi, an of­fi­cial said yes­ter­day, as the toll from 18 months of po­lit­i­cal vi­o­lence grows.

Uniden­ti­fied gun­men at­tacked the bar in Saga vil­lage, Ru­monge prov­ince, at around 8.30pm on Mon­day evening, re­gional of­fi­cial Joachim Mani­rak­iza told Reuters.

Mani­rak­iza said a school prin­ci­pal was among the vic­tims.

The African coun­try has been gripped by po­lit­i­cal strife and con­flict since Pres­i­dent Pierre Nku­run­z­iza’s sought and won a third term in 2015, which op­po­nents said vi­o­lated the Con­sti­tu­tion and terms of a peace deal that ended civil war in 2005.

At least three rebel groups have taken up arms against Nku­run­z­iza and hun­dreds have been killed, in­clud­ing op­po­si­tion fig­ures and gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, in tit-for-tat vi­o­lence.

The UN Hu­man Rights Coun­cil agreed last week to set up a com­mis­sion of in­quiry to iden­tify per­pe­tra­tors of killings and tor­ture in Bu­rundi and to en­sure they are brought to jus­tice. Bu­rundi re­jected the move.

At least 564 killings have been doc­u­mented by the United Na­tions in Bu­rundi since the un­rest broke out.

Bu­rundi’s gov­ern­ment banned three UN in­ves­ti­ga­tors from its ter­ri­tory on Mon­day, deep­en­ing a row be­tween the east African coun­try and the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity over re­cur­ring po­lit­i­cal vi­o­lence.

The brief let­ter from For­eign Af­fairs min­is­ter Alain Nyamitwe named three in­ves­ti­ga­tors linked to a re­port re­leased last month, which iden­ti­fied of­fi­cials sus­pected of or­der­ing po­lit­i­cal op­po­si­tion to be tor­tured or killed.

REUTERS

United Na­tions In­de­pen­dent In­ves­ti­ga­tion on Bu­rundi ex­perts Pablo de Greiff and Christof Heyns dur­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion of a fi­nal re­port to the Hu­man Rights Coun­cil in Geneva on Septem­ber 27/

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