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CrisisWatch Database

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134 results found
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Burundi

  |  1 Oct 2014

Unchanged

Human rights activist Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa, arrested 15 May, granted conditional release 29 Sept due old age, ill-health; transferred to private hospital. Release followed international pressure, including EU threat of sanctions; France’s call for release; visit by UN Office in Burundi (BNUB) human rights officials. Leone Ngendakumana, president of opposition coalition ADC-Ikibiri, appeared in court 2 Sept, accused of “damaging allegations, slanderous accusations and ethnic aversion” for Feb letter to UNSG Ban warning of risk of political violence and genocide.

Burundi

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

Ahead of 2015 presidential elections, President Nkurunziza still silent on rumoured intention to run; opposition UPRONA, FRODEBU still divided. As donor countries pledged financial electoral assistance, Netherlands ambassador Jolke Oppewal 1 Aug called for political parties reunification, political space, non-violence. Burundi and Rwanda authorities 25 Aug launched joint investigation following late Aug discovery of 5 corpses in north-western Lake Rweru; about 40 corpses reported by fishermen since July.

Burundi

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

Deputy and former chairman of opposition UPRONA Charles Nditije, excluded 30 June after internal power struggle, 12 July said he had survived assassination attempt in Bujumbura. Amnesty International 29 July published report denouncing shrinking political space in Burundi.

Burundi

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

Tensions between international community and govt continued: after 2 June statement by special envoys from U.S., AU, UN, EU criticising restrictions of political freedom, UN diplomat asked to leave country; decision later reversed. Despite international pressure, detention of human rights group APRODH chairman Pierre Claver Mbonimpa upheld by appeals court 9 June. Congolese NGO Journaliste en Danger (JED) alleged 2 journalists threatened by Burundian soldiers in S Kivu despite govt denial of Burundian presence in DR Congo; 9 soldiers reportedly killed 23 June by National Forces of Liberation (FNL) in S Kivu, DRC. President Nkurunziza 5 June suggested he could run for presidency in 2015 elections despite constitutional two-term limit. Political parties 9 June adopted code of good conduct ahead of 2015 polls.

Burundi

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Political situation remained tense: head of human rights group APRODH Pierre Claver Mbonimpa 6 May said CNDD-FDD youth league “Imbonerakure” receiving weapons and paramilitary training in Congo; Mbonimpa arrested and jailed 15 May, charged with endangering state security. Opposition Movement for Solidarity and Development (MSD) president Alexis Sinduhije detained 1 May in Brussels as result of arrest warrant and request for extradition issued by govt following March confrontation between MSD supporters and police; released 6 May. Political actors, parties met 20 May to discuss implementation of March 2013 electoral roadmap.

Burundi

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

UN mission BNUB internal report containing allegations that ruling CNDD-FDD is arming “Imbonerakure” youth league leaked early April. Govt demanded evidence or retraction of allegations, accused UN of spreading unfounded rumours, 17 April expelled BNUB security chief Paul Debbie. U.S. ambassador to UN and UK Foreign Office under sec state 8 April met President Nkurunziza, warned of risk of civil war, said those responsible for violence would face international prosecution. Parliament 25 April adopted new electoral code by consensus; opposition satisfied, civil society applauded but warned tension still high; BNUB commended as significant step forward. Opposition Alliance of Democrats for Change (ADC-Ikibiri) chairman arrested 20 April for sending letter criticising govt to UNSG. Govt 10 April banned 15 political parties; UNSC expressed concern over political tensions, restrictions on press and civil liberties. Ruling CNDD-FDD 17 April voted to launch commission on truth and reconciliation; coalition partners UPRONA and FRODEBU boycotted vote, civil society groups expressed concerns over commission composition. Agathon Rwasa called on his FNL party to reunite 2 wings ahead of 2015 elections.

Burundi

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Tensions over 2015 election preparations continued: parliament 23 March rejected constitutional review; contradictory statements by ministers, media about candidacy of President Nkurunziza. Police 8 March clashed with thousands of opposition Movement for Solidarity and Democracy (MSD) supporters protesting govt restrictions on political freedom; over a dozen protesters and 2 police injured. Govt 14 March suspended MSD for 4 months; public prosecutor issued arrest warrant for MSD leader; 69 demonstrators arrested. Court 21 March sentenced 21 protesters to life, 26 to prison terms. Former VP Frédéric Bamvuginyumvira, arrested Dec 2013, provisionally released 20 March. Dissident wing of FNL led by former commander Aloys Nzabampema attacked military bases close to capital early, mid-March; at least 2 killed.

Burundi

  |  1 Mar 2014

Deteriorated

Relations between ruling CNDD-FDD and minority coalition partner UPRONA sharply deteriorated: first VP Busokoza from UPRONA dismissed 1 Feb after annulling govt’s decision to replace UPRONA chairman; all 3 UPRONA ministers resigned in protest 4-5 Feb. Reshuffle mid-Feb to replace UPRONA ministers highly contested, new UPRONA VP Prosper Banzombanza appointed 13 Feb without UPRONA majority support. 3 UPRONA activists arrested 16 Feb in police raid on party meeting; 5 injured. Former rebel opposition National Forces of Liberation (FNL) leader Agathon Rwasa warned political crisis risks sparking new unrest ahead of 2015 presidential election. UNSC 13 Feb unanimously renewed BNUB mandate until end of 2014. 

Burundi

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

Constitutional Court 7 Jan partially invalidated provisions of controversial media-control law; Union of Burundian Journalists (UBJ) denounced restrictive measures still in effect. Opposition UPRONA 20 Jan declared intent to appeal to constitutional court over controversial land law passed in Dec. UNSG 28 Jan proposed renewal of BNUB mandate despite govt resistance.

Burundi

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

National Assembly held consultations with civil society and political parties 19-20 Dec to discuss constitutional review. Protest against constitutional amendment planned 9 Dec cancelled after 5 Dec arrest of prominent FRODEBU politician Frédéric Bamvuginyumvira on charges of attempted corruption; opposition denounced arrest as politically motivated. National Assembly 28 Dec passed controversial draft law on national commission on land and properties.

Burundi

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

New constitution draft sent to National Assembly for approval mid-Nov despite widespread opposition from civil society and opposition parties. UPRONA and FRODEBU Nyakuri and Batwa deputies 26 Nov asked govt to suspend draft bill, requesting wider consultations; FNL historical leader Agathon Rwasa 11 Nov called for March 2013 roadmap to be respected; civil society organisations 4 Nov launched protest campaign. 8 Alliance of Democrats for Change (ADC-Ikibiri) opposition coalition parties 24 Nov agreed to select common candidate and list for 2015 elections. Govt 7 Nov asked UNSC to close its office, BNUB, when current mandate expires.

Burundi

  |  1 Nov 2013

Unchanged

At least 5 wounded 6 Oct in street clashes in Gihanga between opposition Movement for Solidarity and Democracy (MSD) supporters and ruling CNDD-FDD “Imbonerakure” youth wing; opposition, civil society expressed concern Imbonerakure becoming CNDD-FDD militia. VP Sinunguruza (UPRONA) resigned 14 Oct; President Nkurunziza 16 Oct appointed Bernard Busokoza (UPRONA) as replacement despite discontent within CNDD-FDD over his alleged role in 1993 coup. Journalist Hassan Ruvakuki, jailed on terrorism charges, granted conditional release 22 Oct. Police 6 Oct arrested 11 in Bujumbura in terrorist crackdown following Nairobi Westgate mall attack.

Burundi

  |  1 Oct 2013

Unchanged

Burundi Ruling CNDD-FFD announced changes to constitution not necessary to allow President Nkurunziza to run again as Nkurunziza only elected once via direct vote; civil society and opposition denounced move. Public prosecutor 12 Sept announced investigation opened into role of newly-returned opposition FNL leader Agathon Rwasa in massacre of some 160 DRC refugees in Aug 2004; several opposition parties said investigation politically motivated.

Burundi

  |  1 Sep 2013

Unchanged

Burundi Former rebel National Forces of Liberation (FNL) leader Agathon Rwasa returned from exile 6 Aug, reportedly to prepare for 2015 elections; police prevented Rwasa from addressing supporters. Rwasa 22 Aug rejected allegations he ordered 2004 massacre of Congolese Tutsi refugees in Gatumba. FNL-Miburo swiftly distanced itself from former leader.

Burundi

  |  1 Aug 2013

Unchanged

UN SRSG Parfait Onanga-Anyanga 22 July said Burundi making progress but still faces challenges including cross-border incursions, “mixed” human rights record; said past 6 months saw “significant” advances in political dialogue. President Nkurunziza 27 July announced Burundi ready to deploy peacekeeping troops to CAR.

Burundi

  |  1 Jul 2013

Unchanged

President Nkurunziza 4 June signed restrictive media-control law. 2 journalists summoned to court 11 and 13 June, first to reveal sources, second on charges of breaching national security. Iwacu newspaper online forum forced to close until 1 July. Another journalist arrested 13 June, accused of breaching national security, links to Congolese M23 rebels, later released. Tensions over land ownership continued following 31 May riots in Bujumbura; some 23 rioters arrested, 19 convicted 4 June, sentenced to 3 years’ jail for rebellion. National Land and Properties Commission accused by Tutsis of being biased towards Hutu refugees.

Burundi

  |  1 Jun 2013

Unchanged

Petition against proposed restrictive media-control law given to President Nkurunziza 6 May; Nkurunziza also under pressure from Burundi’s main international partners to review law. Alleged former FNL rebels 18 May ambushed bus in Gatumba, 15km from Bujumbura, killing 3. Govt and opposition met 22-25 May to discuss electoral code for 2015 polls in line with March UN-backed roadmap. Ruling CNDD-FDD 16 May denied creation of militia following reports of increasing violence against civil society and opponents by party’s youth movement Imbonerakure.

Burundi

  |  1 May 2013

Unchanged

National Assembly and Senate 29 April finished drafting controversial draft media law widely condemned as restrictive by press, UN, opposition and civil society. President Nkurunziza 9-12 April visited Iran, discussed economic support. Nkurunziza 13 April addressed ruling party leaders, warned against factionalism.

Burundi

  |  1 Apr 2013

Unchanged

UN-backed workshop on electoral process 11-13 March, attended by ruling party and opposition, agreed roadmap for 2015 polls including adoption of electoral code by Dec 2013. Journalist Hassan Ruvakuki, jailed since Nov 2011, granted provisional release 6 March. President Nkurunziza 10-12 March visited Paris, discussed intervention in Mali. 9 killed, some 40 wounded 12 March when followers of “Zebiya”, young woman claiming to have visions, clashed with police in Kayanza province; ministers of security and interior praised police, compared Zebiya followers to Nigerian Islamist sect Boko Haram. Following outcry at police brutality, comments by ministers, 3 policemen arrested. National Security Council 19 March declared Zebiya followers to be treated as outlaws.

Burundi

  |  1 Mar 2013

Unchanged

President of opposition National Council for Defence of Democracy (CNDD) 11 Feb announced plan to return from exile; president of opposition Movement for Solidarity and Democracy (MSD) early Feb also announced intention to return. Police 19 Feb used tear gas to disperse demonstration against imprisonment of journalist Hassan Ruvakuki, jailed since Nov 2011; protests held again 26 Feb. UN office in Burundi (BINUB) mid-Feb announced elections roadmap workshop to be held with govt and opposition 11-13 March. BINUB mandate extended to Feb 2014.

Burundi

  |  1 Feb 2013

Unchanged

National Forces of Liberation (FNL) rebel group members early Jan announced Agathon Rwasa, leader in exile, no longer head of group, sparking intra-FNL clashes in eastern DRC. Journalists 15 and 22 Jan demonstrated in Bujumbura against imprisonment of journalist Hassan Ruvakuki; life sentence against Ruvakuki reduced 8 Jan to 3 years after court dropped terrorism charges on appeal.

Burundi

  |  30 Dec 2012

Unchanged

Opposition Democratic Alliance for Change (ADC-Ikibiri) 5 Dec rejected new electoral commission, approved 4 Dec by National Assembly and Senate. President Nkurunziza 22 Dec announced postponement of Truth and Reconciliation Commission bill, will now be tabled early 2013.

Burundi

  |  1 Dec 2012

Unchanged

President Nkurunziza 10 Nov appointed new chiefs and deputies to police, army. Forced repatriation of 35,000 Burundian refugees from Tanzania that began 31 Oct continued throughout month, raising concerns over possible land disputes. Trial of RFA journalist Hassan Rucakuki continued with hearings 8-9 Nov; verdict expected Jan 2013. U.S. govt 8 Nov issued travel warning, said Burundi target of Somalia-based al-Shabaab militants. Cabinet 15 Nov adopted draft law on Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Burundi

  |  1 Nov 2012

Unchanged

At least 1 army officer killed 4 Oct in clash with Burundi rebels near Uvira, eastern DRC; witnesses alleged army conducting joint operation with DRC army. At least 9 rebels reportedly killed 22-24 Oct in clashes with security forces in Cibitoke province, near DRC.

Burundi

  |  1 Oct 2012

Unchanged

Govt 14 Sept met with EU ambassadors, disputed existence of extrajudicial killings. Former rebel National Liberation Forces (FNL) military chief Aloys Nzampema 3 Sept announced creation of new FNL-Ubugabo burihabwa rebel group citing govt “policy of extermination of FNL members”, claimed responsibility for 2 Sept attack on military base outside Bujumbura. VP Sinunguruza 7 Sept attended Great Lakes summit in Kampala on security in DRC. Rising tension between Barundi, Bafulero communities in DRC late month caused refugee influx in Cibitoke province.

Burundi

  |  1 Sep 2012

Unchanged

Prosecutor general Valentin Bagorikunda 23 Aug said commission established to probe extrajudicial executions found no evidence of such killings. Prosecutor general Valentin Bagorikunda 23 Aug said commission established to probe extrajudicial executions found no evidence of such killings.

Burundi

  |  1 Aug 2012

Unchanged

Commission investigating extrajudicial killings 18 July ordered arrest of Gihanga chief of police, intelligence services officer. Court 24 July sentenced anti-graft activist to 5 years in prison for “false declarations” under anti-corruption law after 7 Feb letter in which he alleged judges paying bribes for appointments.

Burundi

  |  1 Jul 2012

Unchanged

Brussels public prosecutor 7 June announced investigation into money laundering accusations against Ombudsman Mohamed Rukara. Juvenal Havyarimana, MSD opposition party member kidnapped 29 May, found dead 5 June. APRODH prisoners’ rights group 6 June accused army of summarily executing Jean-Petit Nduwimana, former spy chief and alleged leader of rebel Forces for the Restoration of Democracy (FRD). Public prosecutor 12 June announced creation of commission to investigate extrajudicial executions; mandate includes identifying false accusations, raising concerns local NGOs, rights groups could be prosecuted. Journalist sentenced 21 June to life imprisonment for “terrorism”, journalist unions condemned trial as politically motivated. Army 24 June confirmed gunfight with armed group from DRC in Bubanza province, said 41 killed. UNSG Ban 7 June appointed Parfait Onanga-Anyanga as SR to Burundi. President Nkurunziza 27 June pardoned several thousand prisoners to mark 50th anniversary of independence, address prison overcrowding.


Burundi

  |  1 Jun 2012

Unchanged

Human rights activist Pierre Claver Mbonimpa late May reportedly discovered President Nkurunziza acquitted in 2011 by Supreme Court in total secrecy for 1998 atrocities, effectively awarding amnesty; Mbonimpa said move constitutes procedural irregularity as affair was supposed to be addressed in Truth and Reconciliation. Opposition ADC leaders, ruling party members, former heads of state, civil society met 28 May at leadership retreat, sparking hope for political dialogue. Army 4 May announced death of former Forces for National Liberation (FNL) commander Carmel, accused by govt of masterminding 2011 Gatumba bar massacre. Ombudsman Mohamed Rukara 9 May said plot to kill him uncovered, declined to release names. 14 sentenced to 10 years life imprisonment 22 May in connection with 2009 killing of anti-corruption activist.

Burundi

  |  1 May 2012

Unchanged

Trade union leaders early April denounced census of public administration put in place by Senate to reveal ethnic, regional or gender-based inequality. Chairman of UPRONA 13 April expressed concern at national land commission’s handling of land conflicts, alleged chairman favoured repatriated Hutus, demanded replacement. Rumours circulated mid-month that Colonel Kabirigi, leader of rebel Forces for the Restoration of Democracy (FRD) tortured, killed by security forces. 3 soldiers reportedly killed mid-April in Congolese part of Rukoko forest in clash between FNL and FARDC, supported by Burundi army; govt denies army present in South Kivu.

Burundi

  |  1 Apr 2012

Unchanged

Gunmen 7 March killed 2 police in clash at checkpoint, Bubanza province, 1 attacker killed. Despite govt warnings, threats, civil society and 2 labour unions organised strike 27 March to protest water, electricity costs, political elites not paying taxes. Pascal Nyabenda elected 31 March as head of ruling CNDD-FDD parliamentary coalition.

Burundi

  |  1 Mar 2012

Unchanged

Prominent anti-graft activist Faustin Ndikumana arrested 7 Feb after denouncing corruption in magistrates’ recruitment process; freed 21 Feb after 10 Burundian civil society groups 14 Feb called for release. EU ambassador 17 Feb expressed concern over human rights violations, said extrajudicial executions “intolerable”, situation remains “disturbing”. 2 opposition politicians released 17, 28 Feb. Appeal court 10 Feb deferred to beginning of March decision on defence petition suggesting judges not impartial in trial of 23, including journalist, charged with terrorism, connection to FRD rebel group.



Burundi

  |  1 Feb 2012

Unchanged

16 sentenced 28 Jan for Sept 2011 bar massacre, 7 sentenced to life. UNSC 20 Dec renewed mandate of political mission in Burundi (BNUB) to Feb 2013, urged govt to prevent human rights violations, investigate and prosecute extrajudicial executions. Opposition Movement for Solidarity and Democracy (MSD) leader Alexis Sinduhije, accused in 30 Dec 2011 UN experts report on DRC of involvement in FNL covert armed activities, arrested in Tanzania 11 Jan on request of Burundi police, released 24 Jan.

 

Burundi

  |  2 Jan 2012

Unchanged

Defendants in Sept Gatumba massacre case 9 Dec plead not guilty; main defendant 13 Dec accused senior police of responsibility. UN SRSG 7 Dec said Burundi consolidating peace but challenges remain; UNSC 20 Dec extended UN office in Burundi mandate to Feb 2013 citing extrajudicial killings, media repression. Rights group 9 Dec said at least 43 opposition members arrested early Dec for “acts of terrorism”. Trial of 23 accused of terrorism including RFI correspondent Hassan Ruvakuki, due to start 28 Dec, suspended to 5 Jan. In New Year speech, President Nkurunziza said govt will not negotiate with opposition. Tensions grew within Uprona party; night watchman killed in 11 Dec clashes, several arrested including former party chairman Jean-Baptiste Manwangari. Anti-Corruption watchdog OLUCOM 26 Dec said govt would be brought before East African court on allegations of embezzlement, misusing $13.7m debt repaid by Uganda 2005-2007.

Burundi

  |  1 Dec 2011

Deteriorated

Burundi Troops 21 Nov clashed with recently-formed Forces for the Restoration of Democracy (FRD-Abanyagihugu) in Cancuzo; govt said 18 rebels killed. Civil society coalition Government Action Observatory 22 Nov said govt-backed death squads covertly killed over 300 FNL members since July. Reporters Without Borders 16 Nov called on govt to halt intimidation campaign after 9 radio journalists repeatedly summoned to prosecutor’s office early Nov over allegations of endangering public order related to Sept Gatumba massacre reportage; radio reporter arrested 28 Nov for allegedly helping FRD-Abanyagihugu.

Burundi

  |  1 Nov 2011

Unchanged

Intelligence services document leaked 6 Oct suggested leader of National Liberation Forces Agathon Rwasa planned Sept attack on bar that killed 39 people; claimed Rwasa hiding in DRC, protected by Rwandan rebels, Congolese militia. Police 16 Oct reportedly killed 2 students, seized weapons, police uniforms in raid on university; reportedly found documents suggesting arrested student had links with FNL, opposition Movement for Solidarity and Democracy. Police 24 Oct killed 4 gunmen in Cibitoke, former civil war flashpoint. Deputy leader of opposition National Council for the Defence of Democracy arrested 28 Oct, charged with endangering state security. Concern growing over casualties in Somalia after 51 Burundian AU soldiers killed mid-Oct.

Burundi

  |  1 Oct 2011

Deteriorated

Politically motivated violence continued to escalate amid allegations FNL members being targeted by govt forces. 5 National Forces of Liberation (FNL) members 1 Sept occupied office of Human Rights Commission claiming their lives in danger, alleged existence of “hit-list” of around 50 FNL members targeted for killing in Kanyosha commune, Bujumbura Rural, traditional FNL stronghold. Former FNL commander Edouard Ruvayanga killed 5 Sept in Bujumbura. Killings of FNL members denounced by rights groups; chairman of Association for Protection of Human Rights and Prisoners (APRODH) claimed knowledge of “safisha” (clean) plan to liquidate FNL. Home of Leonce Ngendakumana, opposition Front for Democracy in Burundi (FRODEBU) and Democratic Alliance for Change (ADC) chair, searched twice 20 Sept, Ngendakumana questioned in court; home of APRODH leader Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa searched. Mbonimpa summoned to court to explain statements on “safisha” plan, Former FNL leader Agathon Rwasa, in hiding since June 2010, 13 Sept signed memorandum against “genocide” of FNL members by President Nkurunziza’s regime; accused state security forces of massacring, torturing FNL supporters, estimated over 169 killed, 9 missing in 2011. At least 39 people, mostly players/supporters of local football team, killed 19 Sept in attack on bar in Gatumba, near capital, owned by ruling CNDD-FDD member. Bujumbura province governor said attackers from DRC. Congolese military denied, blamed FNL; FNL denied but widely held responsible. President 29 Sept announced several suspects arrested.

Burundi

  |  1 Sep 2011

Unchanged

Sporadic attacks on security forces continued despite President Nkurunziza’s late June call for dialogue with opposition. Clashes 3-10 Aug between unidentified gunmen and police in Rumonge district and in capital left 5 gunmen, 1 police, 1 military officer dead. Main Tutsi party Uprona, currently part of coalition govt, said attacks bear hallmarks of new rebellion. President Nkurunziza 15 Aug met with Somali counterpart, agreed to send additional troops to AU mission in Somalia.

Burundi

  |  1 Aug 2011

Deteriorated Resolution Opportunity

Amid increasing insecurity, hopes for a way forward following President Nkurunziza’s 30 June speech calling for dialogue with opposition; opposition parties welcomed move, but condition participation on release of political prisoners. At least 15 reported killed in intensified series of shootings, grenade attacks by armed groups: 9 killed 19 July in Cibitoke; other incidents reported in Ruyigi, Bujumbura rural, Makamba. Armed men 4 July attacked police posts in Bujumbura, in first such attack in capital, claimed by previously unknown group FRONABU-Tabara. Armed men 19 July attacked President Nkurunziza’s farm in SE Musongati. For first time, some attackers openly claimed allegiance to FNL rebel group. Isidore Rufyikiri, chairman of the Burundi Lawyers Association, arrested 27 July for “contempt of
court” following his criticism of judge presiding over trial of lawyer Suzanne Bukuru.

Burundi

  |  1 Jul 2011

Unchanged

At least 8 killed in series of shootings, grenade attacks: included 1 killed, several injured 16 June in separate attacks in Muyinga, Bujumbura Rural; 5 killed 22 June in Cibitoke, Musaga and Ruvigi; 2 killed 6 June in Kanyosha. Authorities recognise desertions of military personnel, reports suggest attackers may be linked to former rebel National Liberation Forces. Western envoys 3 June voiced concern over apparent tit-for-tat killings, ongoing since disputed June 2010 elections. In Independence Day speech 30 June, President Nkurunziza for first time promised dialogue with opposition leaders, called on those abroad to return, but ruled out discussion of 2010 elections. Nkurunziza 10 June created committee to establish truth and reconciliation commission; UN HRC 20 June agreed to provide funding, expertise.

Burundi

  |  1 Jun 2011

Unchanged

President Nkurunziza 18 May pledged to end ongoing rural violence by end-June, 2 May promised inquiry into 2010 electoral violence and killings in recent months. UN human rights representative 20 May expressed concern over alleged extrajudicial killings March-Apr of former rebel National Liberation Forces. At least 9, including 3 soldiers, killed 26, 28, 30 May by unidentified men in Bujumbura rural district. In meeting with UN HCHR 3 May, officials promised truth and reconciliation commission to begin work by Jan 2012, will investigate events since 1972. Court 16 May acquitted journalist charged with treason for criticising security services. Security forces 12 May detained Gabriel Nduwayo, chief suspect in 2009 killing of deputy chair of corruption watchdog OLUCOME. Splits emerged in opposition UPD 24 May, as party president dismissed secretary general, executive secretary, suspended consultative council in apparent attempt to prevent leadership challenge.

Burundi

  |  1 May 2011

Unchanged

Police, intelligence services targeting suspected former rebel National Liberation Forces (FNL) thought to be responsible for series of summary executions: 3 FNL killed in Kanyosha, 2 killed in Ngagra 28 March and 2 killed in Isale 15 Apr. Local rights group reported state-sponsored executions of suspected FNL members also in Rweza, Buyenzi and Kabezi. FNL 6 Apr retaliated against ruling CNDD-FDD, killing 2 members in Isale. Reports emerged mid-Apr that corpses discovered in Ruvubu River, Muyinga province; exact number disputed. Local prosecutor 13 Apr sought life sentence for journalist charged with treason for criticising security services. Legislature 25 Apr voted on controversial new law requiring re-registration of existing opposition parties.

Burundi

  |  1 Apr 2011

Unchanged

Ruling CNDD-FDD 12 March expelled Manasse Nzobonimpa, member of executive council, for accusing senior party members of corruption and embezzlement late Feb regarding $13mn Ugandan loan; accusations exacerbated internal tensions in opposition UPRONA as party militants claim UPRONA president manipulated by CNDD-FDD; members of UPRONA executive committee 20 March signed declaration calling for departure of president. At least 30 Burundian peacekeepers deployed to AU mission in Somalia killed during end Feb operations in Mogadishu (See Somalia). Police position attacked 27 March in Bujumbura rural commune. 3 FNL members killed 28 March; victims’ families accuse intelligence services of responsibility.


Burundi

  |  1 Mar 2011

Unchanged

Magistrates 17 Feb commenced 14-day strike calling for improved working conditions, salaries. Senate 9 Feb rejected 11 of 20 appointments to high-judiciary positions proposed by President Nkurunziza. Reports emerged 18 Feb govt has pressed charges against 2 former finance ministers for fraudulent management of $32mn. Human Rights Watch and other rights groups welcomed late-Jan order by Interior Minister Edouard Nduwimana reversing Nov 2009 order banning Forum pour le Renforcement de la Société Civile (FORSC). Suspected FNL sympathisers 13, 17 Feb attacked police posts in Bujumbura and Bubanza province.

Burundi

  |  1 Feb 2011

Unchanged

In New Year address President Nkurunziza said “negotiation” with opposition would raise unnecessary questions over 2010 election process, emphasised official channel Forum for Dialogue to address grievances. Rise in attacks targeting police in Bujumbura Rural province including 7-8 Jan attack on police post in Kanyosha commune, several police killed. Countering persistent claims by authorities that attacks in recent months carried out by “armed bandits”, perpetrators dropped leaflets claiming rebel responsibility during separate 17-18 Jan attack in same commune. Following Dec attempts to play down UN claims that National Liberation Forces (FNL) arming in eastern DRC, FARDC 27 Jan said 6 killed during 25-26 Jan clashes near Uvira in South Kivu triggered by rebel ambush. Govt 7 Jan cancelled $500mn contract signed 2009 with company AAE systems; followed international pressure and denouncement of contract by main anti-corruption body OLUCOME. Trial concerning April 2009 assassination of former OLUCOME VP opened 19 Jan, adjourned due to procedural issues.

Burundi

  |  3 Jan 2011

Unchanged

Politically motivated assassinations of opposition figures reported in Bujumbura, including FRODEBU member shot dead 2 Dec, Union for Peace and Development (UDP) supporter killed 9 Dec and FNL youth movement local leader executed 22 Dec. Armed men in military uniform 13 Dec killed 4 in Bujumbura Rural province including ruling CNDD-FDD party member and ex-FNL member suspected of collaborating with govt. Authorities continue to refute indications new rebel movement forming: officials 6 Dec downplayed UN Group of Experts on DRC end Nov report, said UN claims that 700 FNL arming in east Congo needed to be verified. UNSC 16 Dec authorised significant reduction of UN office presence effective 1 Jan 2011. Grenade exploded in Bujumbura 31 Dec during New Year celebrations causing 3 fatal injuries; perpetrators yet to be identified.

Burundi

  |  1 Dec 2010

Deteriorated

Concern as govt crackdown on journalists, opposition, civil society continues to increase, rejuvenated National Liberation Forces (FNL) rebellion armed and active in Democratic Republic of Congo. Following Oct reports that former rebel FNL leader Agathon Rwasa rearming in DRC, FNL early Nov engaged in fighting in Congo’s South Kivu province (see DRC). Govt continued to deny reports new rebellion forming. Human Rights Watch 23 Nov released report claiming govt crackdown during and after troubled May-Sept local and national elections including torture, arbitrary arrests. Security forces 22 Nov killed 4 “unidentified” gunmen in 2 separate incidents in south. Gunmen in military uniforms 3 Nov killed FNL local leader Leonard Ndayishimye in Bujumbura Rural province; fourth local opposition leader killed in province since Oct.  Parliament 12 Nov approved high-ranking ruling party member Mohamed Rukara as ombudsman with 80% majority, prompting sharp exchange between ruling CNDD-FDD and opposition UPRONA who claim Rukara not qualified for post. 

Burundi

  |  1 Nov 2010

Unchanged

Govt 23 Oct claimed Agathon Rwasa, leader of former rebel National Liberation Forces (FNL) who fled country after withdrawing from July presidential election, re-arming in DRC; suggested Rwasa also behind Aug, Sept attacks authorities previously attributed to “bandits”.  Following Sept discovery of at least 14 mutilated bodies in Rusizi river, local rights NGO 16 Oct alleged police responsible for executing at least 22 former members of FNL; police refuted claims.  Army clashed with alleged bandits 24-25 Oct, resulted in 8 casualties. Opposition arrests continue, including 7 Oct detention of Deo Nshimirimana, former MP and member of Union for Peace and Development. Outgoing UN Executive Representative Charles Petrie expressed concern over risk of return to violence.

Burundi

  |  1 Oct 2010

Deteriorated

Burundi Month saw escalating violent clashes between security forces and armed groups, as well as kidnappings and fatal attacks on civilians; increasing reports that, in fallout of opposition boycott of June presidential poll, former rebels rearming and recruiting, establishing new movement north of Bujumbura. Attacks included 8 Sept killing of 7 sugar factory workers in Rukoko marshes; discovery 11-12 Sept of 7 mutilated bodies in same area. No group claimed responsibility; authorities deny new rebellion forming, blame “unknown bandits” for incidents. 14 bodies found mid-month in Rusizi river, 4 of which identified as National Liberation Forces (FNL). Political situation remains unsettled despite opposition coalition Democratic Alliance for Change formal recognition of President Nkurunziza 2 Sept. Opposition arrests continue including 27 Sept arrest of Movement for Solidarity and Development spokesman Francois Nyamoya.

Burundi

  |  1 Sep 2010

Unchanged

Following victory in 28 June election, President Pierre Nkurunziza (CNDD-FDD) officially inaugurated 26 Aug. Formation of new govt announced 29 Aug, meeting constitutional requirement for 60:40 share between majority Hutu (14 CNDD-FDD ministers out of total 21) and minority Tutsi (including 3 UPRONA ministers); UPRONA Terence Sinunguruza named as first VP, CNDD-FDD Gervais Rufyikiri second VP. Amid persistent rumours that groups disgruntled with election process have set up base in Rukoko swamp and Kibira forest (former FNL area), army claim 50 unidentified gunmen 8 Aug conducted overnight looting raids on 2 villages north of Bujumbura; no casualties reported. Exchange of fire 26 Aug between police and armed group; at least 1 killed. Amnesty International 23 Aug released report alleging national intelligence services torture of 12 opposition members during election period June and July, called on authorities to investigate. Police 9 Aug raided main office of MSD opposition, arrested 6 activists; MSD president Alexis Sinduhige fled country. After being deposed 1 Aug from FNL leadership position Agathon Rwasa described raids, arrests as “provocative”, could have “unfortunate consequences”.

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CrisisWatch N°134

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