At least two people were killed on Monday in a grenade attack on a bar in Burundi’s largest city, Bujumbura, raising fears of further violence ahead of a divisive presidential election next week.
The identity of the attackers has not been confirmed, but witnesses told AFP that the bar was frequented by members of the ruling party’s youth wing, the Imbonerakure.
Burundi has been wracked by political violence since 2015, when President Pierre Nkurunziza ran for a disputed third term in office. Hundreds of thousands of people fled to neighbouring countries.
Nkurunziza is not seeking re-election next week, but tensions are rising following a series of recent clashes between the Imbonerakure and members of the opposition CNL party.
In a report published in January, the Burundi Human Rights Initiative alleged that opposition supporters had been beaten to death by Imbonerakure members and buried in secret cemeteries.
Heavy rainfall has meanwhile displaced tens of thousands in recent weeks. Look out for our upcoming story on the elections and the country’s humanitarian crisis.
– Philip Kleinfeld
Hundreds of thousands of readers trust The New Humanitarian each month for quality journalism that contributes to more effective, accountable, and inclusive ways to improve the lives of people affected by crises.
Our award-winning stories inform policymakers and humanitarians, demand accountability and transparency from those meant to help people in need, and provide a platform for conversation and discussion with and among affected and marginalised people.
We’re able to continue doing this thanks to the support of our donors and readers like you who believe in the power of independent journalism. These contributions help keep our journalism free and accessible to all.
Show your support as we build the future of news media by becoming a member of The New Humanitarian.