Minister’s murder adds to Burundi strife

burundi-strifeFrom OMEGA SSUUNA in Bujumbura, Burundi
– THE murder of a cabinet minister has raised fears Burundi could be sliding back to full-blown civil strife.
Emmanuel Niyonkuru, the minister of water, environment and planning, was gunned down in Rohero outside the capital Bujumbura on New Year’s Day.
The murder came after months of relative calm in the east African country still reeling from President Pierre Nkurunziza’s clinging to power in 2015.
A woman has been arrested for the killing, which is the first murder of a cabinet minister since Nkuruziza controversially gained a third term beyond constitutional dictates.
Following the killing of Niyonkiru, Nkurunziza warned, “This crime will not go unpunished.”
Analysts raise fear this spelt a retribution crackdown on government critics.
At least 500 people, mostly opposition followers, have been killed and 300 000 have fled the country since unrest began in April 2015.
Stephane Dujarric, the Spokesman for United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, appealed for calm.
He said the murder of Niyonkuru served as another sad reminder of the urgent need for the Burundian parties to come together in the search of a lasting political solution for the crisis in the country.
John Kirby, United States government spokesperson, said the country was hopeful the killers of the Burundi minister would be brought to justice.
Last April, an army general and close aide to Nkurunziza, was killed in a rocket attack on his car in Bujumbura.

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Posted by on Jan 4 2017. Filed under Africa & World, Featured, National, News, Regional. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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