1. Home
  2. Africa

In the news: Grenade blast leaves two dead ahead of Burundi polls

Clashes have been reported across the country as presidential elections loom.

Burundi politician and presidential candidate Evariste Ndayishimiye at a campaign rally on 27 April. A recent grenade blast has raised fears of further violence ahead of the election. (Evrard Ngendakumana/REUTERS)

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

Share this article

Right now, we’re working with contributors on the ground in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries to tell the stories of people enduring and responding to a rapidly evolving humanitarian crisis.

We’re documenting the threats to humanitarian response in the country and providing a platform for those bearing the brunt of the invasion. Our goal is to bring you the truth at a time when disinformation is rampant. 

But while much of the world’s focus may be on Ukraine, we are continuing our reporting on myriad other humanitarian disasters – from Haiti to the Sahel to Afghanistan to Myanmar. We’ve been covering humanitarian crises for more than 25 years, and our journalism has always been free, accessible for all, and – most importantly – balanced. 

You can support our journalism from just $5 a month, and every contribution will go towards our mission. 

Support The New Humanitarian today.

Become a member of The New Humanitarian

Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides accountability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide.

Join