The attack last night targeted the home of a Burundian army colonel. It cost the lives of his wife and his servant. A journalist investigating the attack was beaten up.
The two victims did not die on the spot. They died after being evacuated to a health facility in the commercial city of Bujumbura.
The grenade explosion that claimed their lives targeted the home of Colonel Aaron Ndayishimiye. The latter commands the 212th battalion installed in the Rukoko nature reserve (Bubanza province, western Burundi). “We heard a bang followed by cries of distress. When we went to check it out, we realized it was a grenade thrown at Colonel Aaron. His wife and his servant were seriously injured ”, recounted in the freshness of the facts an eyewitness.
The two injured were evacuated to a care structure in the city. They died a few hours later. The perpetrators of the attack have not been identified, according to our sources.
The colonel whose home has been targeted is often cited in abuses against opponents or supposed opponents. The case for which he is widely known is the kidnapping of a representative of the opposition CNL party in Mutimbuzi commune (West Bujumbura province). Witnesses have revealed that the opponent, who has never reappeared since his disappearance in mid-July, was arrested by the officer and taken away in his service vehicle.
An abused journalist
Aimé Richard Niyonkuru of private radio station Bonesha FM was investigating the explosion. He was arrested, assaulted and detained. “It was too scary. When I first saw him sitting on the ground among several heavily armed soldiers and police and young Imbonerakure, I thought he was a suspect arrested. But I approached and recognized this journalist, ”a witness told Buja Express.
Since the failed coup of May 2015 followed by the destruction of some independent media, it has been very difficult for local journalists to go out into the field and do their work independently.
In towns and in the countryside, they are often briefly detained by soldiers and police officers or even young people from the presidential Imbonerakure party and forced to delete the content of their report.
This situation has created self-censorship in most media, which prefer not to cover insecure matters or involving officials.
Recently, in a group of journalists and communicators created by the spokesperson for the ministry in charge of security, an official of the online newspaper Ikiriho (close to the government) affirmed for example that a “patriotic” journalist cannot report explosions of grenades without the police’s consent.
It was Monday evening when grenade attacks targeted a bus parking lot and fish vendors in the economic capital Bujumbura, killing two and injuring 102, according to Prime Minister Alain Guillaume Bunyoni.