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10 Aug, 2015

Suspects arrested

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Burundi’s prosecutor says the killers of General Nshimirimana have been identified and arrested.

The identities of the perpetrators are now known. A certain number have been arrested. The rest of them and the masterminds are being sought.

The prosecutor also says a military vehicle had been used by the killers and subsequently burned. The vehicle came from a military camp in the centre of the capital Bujumbura.

6 Aug, 2015

Zuma says persuasion limited

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In response to a question from the Inkatha Freedom Party, who cites Burundi as an example, Zuma says he tried to dissuade Nkurunziza from seeking a third term but hit a wall when his pleas were ignored.

Many of us interacted to say that might not help the country. We cannot say there was no effort to solve that African problem. I sent an envoy. He said it is not going to cause trouble, he has taken a decision and the constitution is on his side. Once you have reached that stage… when an African leader is not interested, that becomes difficult…No military men can take over as they please. There are a few exceptions. Burundi, where even its own regions could not persuade it … but even there the man is not saying he is going to stay forever… he has argued the point through the constitution and the court has supported him. We can’t force people, we have to talk to them, nudge them.

He says leaders have to respect the sovereignty of other African nations while they try to resolve problems.

It does not mean we will solve all matters at the right time…we are not going to ride roughshod over constitutions.

UN envoy meets over security situation

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In a meeting with Rwandan President Kagame, Bathily, Special Representative and Head of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa, reiterates the UN Secretary-General’s condemnation of the current violence in Burundi. Bathily will continue to hold consultations with political parties, civil society and religious organizations, government officials and the diplomatic community, with the view to reconvene the political dialogue as soon as possible. Bathily:

[The situation in Burundi is accumulating] the well-known and visible marks of a society which previously suffered divisions leading to grave violence. Currently the humanitarian crisis caused by the escalating political tensions in Burundi has worsened, and uptick in the number of refugees seeking asylum and a deterioration in health conditions at refugee camps receiving them.

Envoy will support dialogue

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Perriello, US Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region of Africa,  Thomas Perriello says there is a need for both the government and its opponents to be committed to negotiations in a bid to resolve the crisis in Burundi.

We are deeply concerned about the political crisis and the humanitarian crisis. We still believe there is a path forward, but it has to be one in which all Burundian leaders agree to a political dialogue, and the important leadership that the region has shown, through the East African Community, resumes with some urgency to address a situation where you’ve seen approximately over 200,000 [refugees] already and ongoing sporadic violence…Burundians need to continue to hear those calls for calm and the path forward. The United States and the international community are ready to support the regional leadership to force this political dialogue forward that is so important. The point of the dialogue is to address these extremely difficult questions that continue to remain under the surface of the political crisis. But, people need to come to the table. We’ve seen very constructive steps forward when the East African Community and South Africa and others have been a constructive part of this. So, we are eager to resume that and stand ready to support it.

5 Aug, 2015

Come Harerimana killed

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Harerimana, president of the CNDD FDD chapter in Kanyosha, is attacked and killed in Bujumbura. He is heading to his office on the back of a motorbike when a crowd throw stones at him, pull him off the bike and shoot him.

4 Aug, 2015

Ban concerned over security

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Ban says he is concerned about  the continuing deterioration of the security environment in Burundi.

The Secretary-General welcomes Nkurunziza’s message to the nation to remain calm and to the competent authorities to expeditiously investigate and bring the perpetrators to justice. The Secretary-General renews his appeal to all Burundians to resume an inclusive dialogue without delay and peacefully settle their differences under the facilitation of President Museveni as mandated by the East African Community.

2 Aug, 2015

Adolphe Nshirimana killed in rocket attack

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Nshimirimana is killed, along with three bodyguards, in a rocket attack on his car in Bujumbura. Nshimiramana was widely seen as the central African nation’s de facto internal security chief and considered by some as the president’s effective deputy. He was seen as the mastermind behind the crackdown on the protests as well as a key player in foiling the coup attempt. The presidency’s communications chief:

I have lost a brother, a companion in the struggle. The sad reality is that General Adolphe Nshimirimana is no longer with this world.

Shot

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Mbonimpa is shot as he makes his way home from work in the capital, by a gunman on a motorbike. Family member:

His condition is stable, and has even slightly improved.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban condemns ‘the assassination attempt’ and calls for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.

This incident… is part of a growing pattern of politically-motivated violence in Burundi that must be broken before it escalates beyond control.

Several diplomats, including from the United States and France, as well as African Union officials, attend Mbonimpa’s hospital bedside during the night until the arrival of the police.

AU Commission chief Dlamini-Zuma calls on the government to investigate the ‘attempted murder’ as well as ‘all other such killings’, and wishes Mbonimpa ‘a speedy recovery’, while Human Rights Watch Africa chief Bekele calls on the government to ensure his safety.

We are shocked at this blatant attack on one of Burundi’s most prominent and respected activists. The Burundian authorities should take immediate steps to secure Mbonimpa’s safety and protection.

Amnesty International condemns the ‘brazen attack’ it says is part of ‘a disturbing escalation’ of violence.

Journalist beaten

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Reporters Without Borders lashes out at the ‘despicable assault’ against Esdras Ndikumana, a Burundian AFP reporter who says he was held for around two hours, during which he said he was subjected to severe beatings on his back, legs and the soles of his feet. He was later released and hospitalised, with the injuries also including a suspected broken finger. Ndikumana says he was taking pictures at the scene of the general’s assassination in Bujumbura when he was arrested by members of the National Intelligence Service (SNR) and taken to their offices.

Reporters Without Borders calls on the authorities to ‘immediately open an enquiry to identify and punish those who carried out this barbaric act’. AFP’s global news director says she is ‘very shocked’ by the attack.

We will seek explanations from the authorities in Burundi and an assurance that such an incident will not happen again. Our correspondent must be able to continue to carry out his work in complete safety.

The Eastern Africa Journalists Association also says the incident a attempt to ‘intimidate and terrify’ the reporter.

Media are clearly being targeted. It has to stop.

24 Jul, 2015

Re-elected

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Nkurunziza wins a landslide victory, taking 69.41% of the vote, 50 percentage points ahead of his leading opponent. He will serve a third five-year term. The head of the national electoral commission (Ceni):

These presidential elections are a critical step for the population and the international community…I have always thought that the elections the Ceni is organising will not resemble those of Gabon, Mali, Nigeria, even less those of France, the US, Cameroon or Belgium. They are elections organised in Burundi for Burundians by Burundians, with challenges that remain our own.

23 Jul, 2015

Responds to Buhari

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Senator Leahy, in a statement titled, Buhari’s Mis-Directed Criticism of the Leahy Law on Human Rightssays President Buhari should clean up military units allegedly implicated in atrocities in order to get more military support from US instead of rebuking the Leahy Law. He charges Buhari to direct his attention to and clean up the units implicated in such atrocities.

It is well documented by the State Department and by respected human rights organisations that Nigerian army personnel have, for many years, engaged in a pattern and practice of gross violations of human rights against the Nigerian people and others, including summary executions of prisoners, indiscriminate attacks against civilians, torture, forced disappearances and rape. Rarely have the perpetrators been prosecuted or punished. This abusive conduct not only violates the laws of war, it creates fear and loathing among the Nigerian people whose support is necessary to defeat a terrorist group like Boko Haram. President Buhari ignores the undisputed fact that most Nigerian army units have been approved, under the Leahy Law, for U.S. training and equipment. Only those particular units against which there is credible evidence of the most heinous crimes are ineligible for U.S. aid. And even those units can again become eligible if the Nigerian Government takes effective steps to bring the responsible individuals to justice.

I strongly agree with President Buhari about the need to defeat Boko Haram, and I have supported tens of millions of dollars in U.S. aid to Nigeria for that purpose. But rather than suggest that the United States is at fault for not funding murderers and rapists in the Nigerian military, he should face up to his own responsibility to effectively counter Boko Haram.

Report: Security fired on protestors

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Burundian security forces crush anti-government demonstrations, including shooting protesters running away from them, to silence those opposed Nkurunziza bid for a third-term.
Amnesty international says in a report

Burundian authorities sought not just to disperse demonstrations, but to punish protesters for expressing their political views. They used excessive and disproportionate force, including lethal force, against protesters, at times shooting unarmed protesters running away from them,

22 Jul, 2015

Emmanuel Ndereyimana dies

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Ndereyimana. a member of Rwasa’s FNL political group, who had been organizing protests, is shot dead outside his parent’s house in the Kinama area and then his attackers, believed to be from the government youth wing, Imbonerakure, throw a grenade at his body.

21 Jul, 2015

Election

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Elections are held in Burundi amidst unrest. Turnout is low in the capital, and one province but 16 other provinces has a good level of voters. U.S. State Department:

The legitimacy of the electoral process in Burundi over the past few months has been tainted by the government’s harassment of opposition and civil society members, closing down of media outlets and political space, and intimidation of voters.

20 Jul, 2015

Ban urges calm

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UN Secretary General Ban presses Burundian authorities to ensure elections are carried out peacefully.

[The Secretary] calls on the authorities to do all in their power to ensure security and a peaceful atmosphere during the election. He further calls on all parties to refrain from any acts of violence that could compromise the stability of Burundi and the region. [The pause in the inter-Burundian dialogue] took place without agreement being reached on a range of issues that would have contributed to the creation of a climate conducive to the holding of credible and peaceful elections, as contained in the relevant recommendations of the EAC and the African Union.

13 Jul, 2015

Rebels killed

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Burundi’s army kills 31 suspected rebels and capture 170 others in fighting in the country’s north. Six soldiers are wounded in fighting with suspected rebels, and nearly 80 assorted weapons are seized.

10 Jul, 2015

Gunmen, soldiers clash

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Soldiers and unidentified gunmen clash in Kayanza province, near the border with Rwanda. The governor of Kayanza says the gunmen crossed from Rwanda, a charge denied by Rwanda’s government. The US is:

deeply concerned by reports that fighting has broken out in several areas of Burundi and by recently broadcast remarks by Burundians threatening to use force against the government.

Rwandan foreign minister:

I would think it’s better for Burundi to concentrate on the issues Burundi has rather than looking for issues elsewhere.

7 Jul, 2015

Wins parliamentary election

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Nkurunziza’ party – the CNDD FDD — wins 77 out of 100 seats in parliament, in an election that is boycotted by most opposition parties. The turnout for the parliamentary poll is low in the districts of Bujumbura where there are protests, but in some provinces outside the capital it is as high as 98%. The presidential election is scheduled for 15 July.

6 Jul, 2015

Skips crisis talks

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Nkurunziza skips regional talks aimed at brokering a deal to end weeks of unrest in the country, choosing instead to campaign for his third term. Leaders of the five-nation East African Community (EAC) bloc are due to meet Monday in Dar es Salaam. Foreign Minister Alain Aime-Nyamitwe would take his place. Nkurunziza will instead lead his presidential campaign in Burundi’s central Mwaro and Gitega regions.

29 Jun, 2015

Attacks disrupt polls

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Armed groups throw grenades at polling stations in both the capital Bujumbura and in some provinces, delaying the start of voting in many of the centres, police and election officials said. Opposition and civil societies are boycotting the polls, saying the elections are not free and fair. President of the Bujumbura electoral commission:

Voting has not yet begun in many centres in the capital because election officials are trying to prepare materials and in almost all of the stations, these arrived late because of the overnight attacks,