At least 34 Burundi police killed since April

2015-12-01 16:51
File: AFP

File: AFP

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Nairobi - At least 34 policemen have been killed and almost 300 wounded in Burundi since violent protests erupted in April against the president's bid to remain in power, the government said on Tuesday.

"The 'insurrectional movement' has caused significant losses on all sides," said a report by Public Security Minister Alain Guillaume Bunyoni, who himself was slapped with sanctions last week by President Barack Obama, over his alleged links to the country's descent into violence.

Bunyoni, the regime's number two, said that 34 police officers were killed and 293 were injured in attacks by insurgents.

Burundi's government blames a string of attacks on "armed criminals", but the UN has warned that Burundi risks sliding back into civil war after a dramatic rise in violence.

The report gave no details of other casualties, although the UN says that at least 240 people have been killed and more than 200 000 have fled the country.

In the report, Bunyoni says the police had handled the situation with "professionalism, loyalty and self-sacrifice."

Rights groups offer a different picture. Testimonies recorded by Amnesty International accuse both the police and National Intelligence Service (SNR) of "torture and other ill-treatment" against protesters.

Police beat people with electric cables and batons, while the SNR used iron bars, as well as "forcing detainees' heads under dirty water," Amnesty said in an August report.

Violent repression

The US said that the police under Bunyoni have conducted operations to silence and intimidate government opponents, breaking up peaceful protests with a "disproportionate use of force and acts of violent repression."

The US action imposes visa restrictions on the four and blocks their US assets, a White House statement said, adding that it was considering similar action against other individuals.

"These sanctions are a fraud... I do not give a damn," Bunyoni said in reply on Monday.

President Pierre Nkurunziza, an ex-rebel turned born-again Christian who believes he has divine backing to rule, won a third term in power in July, despite concerns over the legality of him serving a third consecutive mandate.

UN observers said the polls were neither credible nor free. Since the elections clashes between gunmen and the security forces have become a near daily event.

Read more on:    burundi  |  east africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.