Burundi general assassinated

Author : Mircea Birca | Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Posted in category Africa, Africa News, Eurasia, Eurasia News
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A military general in Burundi who was an adviser to the country’s vice president and two others were shot dead in the capital, a military official said on Monday. It is the latest killing in an upsurge of violence including tortures and increased disappearances that have created a climate of fear and led more than 250 000 people to flee to neighbouring countries.

The ambush of Brigadier General Athanase Kararuza came on the day that the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court announced the opening of a preliminary probe into atrocities in Burundi over the last year, saying violence in the African nation has reportedly left more than 430 people dead.

Gunmen opened fire on Kararuza’s car with rocket-propelled grenades when he dropped his daughter at school in the Bujumbura neighbourhood of Gihosha, said military spokesperson Colonel Gaspard Baratuza.

Kararuza’s wife and one of his bodyguards were also killed in the attack while his daughter, another bodyguard and the driver were wounded, Baratuza said in a statement. Baratuza urged calm and said that the perpetrators of the attack hoped to divide the army.

Burundi has been wracked by violence since April 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza declared his bid for a third term, which he eventually won in July, despite protests that it violates the constitution.

The “preliminary examination” announced Monday by ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda is a step toward a full investigation that could lead to charges against suspects. Bensouda says her investigators have received reports of crimes including killing, imprisonment, torture and rape in Burundi.

The Burundian government has repeatedly denied it tortures and kills civilians, although Nkurunziza urged the security forces to use all means necessary to end the violence.

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