Heavy gunfire rocks Burundi capital

Wednesday September 02 2015

Demonstrators face off against police officers during a protest against President Pierre Nkurunziza's third term bid in Musaga, outskirts of the capital Bujumbura, on April 30, 2015. AFP PHOTO | SIMON MAINA

Heavy gunfire fire and shelling have rocked Burundi’s capital Bujumbura two weeks after the surprise swearing in of President Pierre Nkurunziza.

Authorities are yet to comment on the overnight shootings but a resident in one of the suburbs in Bujumbura said one person was killed during the fierce exchange of fire between the police and an unknown armed group.

The government has previously said that the armed groups that have been attacking the police have no political agenda.

“Some were arrested and some weapons confiscated, these armed groups who make attacks don’t have an agenda because even the opposition political leaders don’t recognize them,” deputy police spokesman, Pierre Nkurikiye, told reporters recently.

Both the government and the opposition leaders have been victims of these attacks which witnesses say are well coordinated and usually take place at night.

Recently, a police officer believed to be opposing the president’s third term in office was killed in Musaga.


Bujumbura has experienced relative calm since the presidential elections were held 21st July however last night saw one of the longest heavy fighting between security forces and the armed groups.

The capital is still tense with heavy police deployment conducting searches and barricading major streets and roads.

President Nkurunziza is currently in his hometown Ngozi in northern Burundi where he has been leading a week-long thanksgiving ceremony for his controversial re-election.

“Within two months Burundi should be peaceful and all on-going targeted killings and all sorts of acts to cause instability in the country will be put to an end,” the president said during the ceremony.

“We are going to increase security units that will operate 24hrs in order to ensure peace and stability is restored in the country.”

Soon after taking office, a tough talking Nkurunziza warned all those who are “against the government inside or outside the country to stop” attacking his administration “otherwise they will face serious consequences.”

“Politicians should to play with politics but not with the lives of the citizens,” he said.
Meanwhile, the opposition in exile is still calling on Mr Nkurunziza to step down because he has no legitimacy.