Burundi Violence Targets Capital's Mayor; Other Attacks Kill Sixby
Gunmen spray mayor's home with bullets, attack bar in capital
More than 240 people have been killed in country since April
Unidentified gunmen in Burundi’s capital sprayed the mayor’s home with bullets, capping a weekend that saw six other people killed across the country as violence continues amid United Nations efforts to stem the bloodshed.
Freddy Mbonimpa’s residence in Bujumbura’s Rohero neighborhood was attacked about midnight, national radio said on Monday, without giving any details of casualties. Police gave reporters access to the scene on Monday morning, when bullet-holes could be seen on the main gate and a parked car. An unexploded rocket lay on the ground outside the compound. Mbonimpa wasn’t available for comment.
Gunmen also opened fire at a nightclub in the city’s Bwiza district on Sunday evening, killing three people, Odeb Kabura, a witness who works nearby, said in an interview. Another person was killed at a nearby bar, while a body was found on the street Monday morning, said Nyandwi Paul, a local business owner. National radio said a civilian was killed in a grenade attack late Saturday in Rutana province in the country’s southeast.
Violence in Burundi, home to 6 percent of the world’s nickel reserves, escalated with the re-election of President Pierre Nkurunziza in July, with opponents saying the result violated a two-term limit set out in peace accords that ended 12 years of previous conflict. More than 240 people have died and 200,000 have fled their homes since Nkurunziza announced his bid for another term in April.
The UN Security Council on Nov. 12 condemned the growing number of killings and torture cases in Burundi and said it’s considering “additional measures” against anyone blocking a peaceful solution to the crisis.
U.S. President Barack Obama on Saturday urged Burundi’s army to help bring peace “by staying out of political conflicts and protecting the people of Burundi.” Speaking in a video posted on the website of the U.S. Embassy, he also encouraged Burundi’s leaders to “follow through” on a commitment to participate in an internationally mediated dialogue outside the country.