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 24.com network.

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.


Burundi in crisis as top general assassinated

02 August 2015, 19:19

Bujumbura -A top Burundian general and right-hand man to President Pierre Nkurunziza was killed in a rocket attack on his car on Sunday, prompting fears of further instability in the crisis-hit country.

Adolphe Nshimirimana was widely seen as the central African nation's de facto internal security chief and even considered the regime's number-two.

Police and witnesses said General Nshimirimana's pick-up was hit by two rockets and sprayed with automatic gunfire in the capital Bujumbura on Sunday morning. He was later confirmed dead, along with his driver.

The presidency's communications chief Willy Nyamitwe confirmed that the general, a former army chief of staff and intelligence chief, had been killed.

"I have lost a brother, a companion in the struggle. The sad reality is that General Adolphe Nshimirimana is no longer with this world," he said in a message posted on Twitter.

The assassination comes just over a week after Nkurunziza was declared the outright winner of a controversial presidential election, securing a third consecutive term despite opposition protests and international condemnation.

Nkurunziza's candidacy was condemned as unconstitutional by the opposition and provoked months of protests that left at least 100 people dead in a fierce government crackdown, as well as an attempted coup in mid-May.

Nshimirimana was seen as the mastermind behind the crackdown on the protests as well as a key player in foiling the coup attempt.

AFP journalist detained, beaten

African Union Commission chief Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said in a statement she was "horrified" by the assassination, condemning "this barbaric act that is likely to further destabilise the country".

She urged the Burundian government, opposition political parties and civil society "to work very closely together to find a lasting solution to the current crisis".

Burundian journalist and AFP correspondent Esdras Ndikumana said he was detained by government security forces at the scene of the murder and badly beaten.

He was held for around two hours, during with he said he was subjected to severe beatings on his back, legs and the soles of his feet.

He was then released and hospitalised, with the injuries also including a suspected broken finger.

AFP's global news director Michele Leridon said she was "very shocked" by the attack, adding that the news agency would seek explanations from the Burundian authorities "and an assurance that such an incident will not happen again".

A source in the presidency warned of a possible wave of revenge attacks.

"The situation is very serious. The general was somebody who was essential in the system," said the source, who asked not to be named.

"We are trying to manage the situation but it is not easy. Our boys want to take revenge."

Police sources said seven arrests were made, and a source in Burundi's National Intelligence Service, the SNR, said security forces were "nervous".

"You cannot imagine what General Adolphe represented for us," the source said.

"They have declared war and they will see what they get," said another top pro-Nkurunziza general, who asked not to be named.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the assassination, although the coup plotters have since regrouped and have launched a rebellion in the north of the country, and have also been linked to a string of grenade attacks in Bujumbura.

There are fears that renewed conflict in the country could reignite ethnic Hutu-Tutsi violence and bring another humanitarian disaster to central Africa's troubled Great Lakes region.

The last civil war in Burundi, which ended in 2006, left at least 300,000 people dead.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
DP Ruto accuses Raila of selling ...

DP Wiliam Ruto has castigated Raila Odinga for seeking western support to fund his 2017 election bid. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Peter Kenneth announces Uhuru 201...

Peter Kenneth has announced that he will support President Uhuru Kenyatta in the 2017 elections. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilon Ochieng
Labour Party to dump both Jubilee...

The Labour Party of Kenya is likely to avoid supportoing both the CORD and Jubilee factions during the 2017 General Elections. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Ukambani MP quits Jubilee, to run...

An Ukambani MP has quit the Jubilee Party, citing voter apathy as his reason behind leaving the ruling coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Government launches probe into Po...

The government has launched an inquiry into the circumstances that could have led to two National Police Service helicopter accidents in August and September this year. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...