United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today condemned the recent killing of nine civilians and two police officers in Burundi’s capital Bujumbura, amid exchanges of heavy gunfire in several neighbourhoods of the city.
A statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson indicated that the civilians, including a staff member of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) named Evariste Mbonihankuye, were reportedly shot at close range. The incident took place Tuesday.
“The Secretary-General extends his deepest condolences to the families of the victims,” the statement noted. “He urges Burundian authorities to undertake a rigorous and prompt investigation into the circumstances and motives behind these despicable crimes in order to ensure that their perpetrators are brought to justice.”
According to the United Nations, Burundi is facing its deepest political crisis since the end of the civil war, after President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision to run for a controversial third term in office. A broad array of actors warned that his attempt was unconstitutional and contrary to the spirit of the 2000 Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement for Burundi.
Since April 2015, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has registered more than 130 killings and hundreds of cases of arbitrary arrest and detention.