A senior member of a youth movement that underpins the ruling party in Burundi has been beheaded and his wife shot dead, sources said on Wednesday. The attack, adding to an upsurge of violence in the troubled East African country, occurred late on Tuesday at Buyumpu near the border with Rwanda. Public security ministry spokesperson Pierre Nkurikiye confirmed the attack blaming an armed group which came from Rwanda.
But the government source cast doubt on this, saying “no one knows where this group came from and where it went – there was no intervention by the security forces which are positioned on the Rwandan border.”
Burundian Ambassador Renovat Tabu told the UN Human Rights Council that a 272-page report saying that the government and its supporters were responsible for crimes against humanity, was “full of lies” and “politically motivated”. Burundi threatened to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council and sue the commissioners who authored the report. “We must… have a culture of truth rather than letting ourselves be poisoned, indoctrinated, and intoxicated by the culture of lies which only destroys the morality of the world,” Tabu said. “Burundi reserves the possibility of bringing to justice any person who engages in defamation, even a member of the Commission.” The three commissioners rejected Burundi’s complaints saying they were immune from legal action over any alleged defamation and Burundi’s withdrawal from the Council would achieve little without shielding it from scrutiny. Burundi has a poor human rights record under the repressive rule of President Pierre Nkurunziza. A coup attempt against him occurred while Nkurunziza was out of the country. Advisor to the president, Willy Nyamitwe, blamed the accusations in the UN HR Report on Belgium and the European Union, which he said wanted to destabilise the country.