Burundi army chief survives assassination attempt
At least seven people have been killed in a life attempt on Burundi’s army chief, who has survived the attack.
The incident took place in the capital Bujumbura on Friday. “There was an attack against the armed forces chief, General Prime Niyongabo, but happily he was unharmed,” Burundi’s deputy police chief, General Godefroid Bizimana, said.
The fatalities included two of the assailants, four bodyguards, and a female police officer. A third attacker was arrested.
The death is the latest in a series of killings in the violence-wracked country, where tensions remain high following the controversial bid for re-election by President Pierre Nkurunziza.
On Monday, gunmen shot dead the spokesman of the Union for Peace and Democracy (UPD), a small opposition political party.
Back in May, the UPD president Zedi Feruzi was shot dead along with his bodyguard amid weeks of protests at Nkurunziza’s controversial bid for a third term in office.
The head of state had announced the presidential aspirations a month earlier, plunging the country into turmoil.
In line with the country’s constitution, the president can only serve two back-to-back tenures. Nkurunziza has argued that his first term did not count as he was not elected by popular vote but was picked by the parliament.
Nkurunziza garnered 69.41 percent of the votes in July presidential polls, securing a third consecutive five-year-long term in office.
The United Nations observer mission in Burundi has also said the vote was not “inclusive, free and credible,” and that it was held “in an environment of profound mistrust” between political rivals.