Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Reshuffle and a televised act of contrition

Read more

THE DEBATE

Macron malaise: Can the French president reverse his plummeting popularity?

Read more

ENCORE!

Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy on the red carpet in Paris

Read more

PERSPECTIVE

The dictator hunter: Reed Brody on bringing despots to justice

Read more

FOCUS

France explores alternatives to prison

Read more

IN THE PRESS

Blind support or strategic move? Australia mulls embassy move to Jerusalem

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

'Personal computing would not have existed without him': Paul Allen dies aged 65

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Fatal flooding in France

Read more

THE DEBATE

Saudi Arabia under pressure: Crown prince defiant over Khashoggi disappearance

Read more

Africa

Gunmen shoot leading Burundi human rights activist

© Carl De Souza / AFP | A picture taken on March 19, 2015 shows Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, president of The Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Detainees.

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2015-08-04

A leading human rights activist in restive Burundi was shot and severely wounded in the capital Bujumbura on Monday, according to civic leaders, a day after a top general was assassinated.

Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, president of The Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Detainees (APRODH), was fired upon while walking home late Monday, said Vital Nshimirimana of the Forum for Strengthening the Civil Society.

Balthazar Fengure, a fellow member of the APRODH, said Mbonimpa “has been very badly wounded” in the attack and was currently in hospital.

Mbonimpa has been an outspoken opponent of President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for a controversial third term in office and was arrested on April 27 for calling for protests against the Burundi leader before later being released.

The shooting comes a day after the assassination of Adolphe Nshimirimana, a top military general and close ally of Nkurunziza.

Gunmen wearing military uniforms shot dead Nshimirimana, who was in charge of the president’s personal security, while he was in a car alongside three of his bodyguards in the Kamenge district of the capital, witnesses said.

The killing raised fears of revenge attacks against perceived opponents of the regime.

Burundi has been in chaos since late April when Nkurunziza announced he would seek a third term in office, a move that his opponents and Western powers said violated the constitution and a peace deal that ended an ethnically-charged civil war in 2005.

Months of protests and a coup attempt were quelled, but the capital and some areas in the countryside have been rocked by sporadic violence and killings.

Nshimirimana, who was also a former chief of staff in Burundian army, was seen as part of Nkurunziza’s inner circle. Opponents say he was one of key men behind the crackdown on protesters and thwarting of the coup.

African leaders fear the violence could split the country down ethnic lines and lead to another civil war, an alarming prospect for a region still scared by the 1994 genocide in neighbouring Rwanda where 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutus were slaughtered. Burundi has a similar ethnic make-up.

Western diplomats have also warned a rift in the army could push Burundi back into conflict. The last 12-year civil war pitted the military, which at the time was led by the ethnic Tutsi minority, against rebel factions of the majority Hutus, the biggest of which was led by Nkurunziza.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP, REUTERS)

Date created : 2015-08-03

  • BURUNDI

    Burundi opposition attends parliament opening after disputed poll

    Read more

  • BURUNDI

    Burundi presidential aide killed in drive-by shooting

    Read more

  • Burundi

    AFP correspondent in Burundi detained and beaten

    Read more

COMMENT(S)