Gunmen Shoot Dead East African Lawmaker in Burundi’s CapitalBy
Hafsa Mossi had been member of regional legislative assembly
Killing is latest violence in crisis that’s claimed 470 lives
Gunmen shot dead an East African parliament lawmaker in the capital of Burundi, the latest violence in the country’s 14-month political crisis that’s claimed more than 470 lives.
Hafsa Mossi was killed by unidentified assailants in Bujumbura’s eastern Mutanga district at about 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye said. A resident of the area, Achel Majabuka, told reporters that he heard gunshots and saw two men escape by car.
Mossi, a former Burundi information minister, had represented the country in the East African Legislative Assembly since 2012. She was previously a journalist with the British Broadcasting Corp.’s Swahili-language service, according to the BBC.
Landlocked Burundi has been gripped by violence since President Pierre Nkurunziza decided in April 2015 to run for a third term, a move his opponents said was unconstitutional. Peace talks due to be held in the northern Tanzanian city of Arusha this week have stalled amid a dispute over who can participate.
“Hafsa Mossi’s death, the latest in a disturbing string of high-profile killings, is a great loss to the people of Burundi and the East African region,” Amnesty International’s regional director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, Muthoni Wanyeki, said in a statement. He urged a prompt, independent investigation.
The EALA is an organ of the East African Community, a regional trade bloc aspiring to adopt a single currency and political federation. Members also include Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and South Sudan.