Protesters and police clash in Burundi's capital Bujumbura. Photo: May 2015Image copyright Reuters
Image caption At least 240 men and women have been killed because April and thousands have fled the nation

The United States is to place sanctions on 4 existing and former officials in Burundi in connection with the continuing violence there.

They contain the minister of public safety and the deputy director of police.

The four will face an asset freeze and visa restrictions.

The US says President Pierre Nkurunziza’s pursuit of a third term has “precipitated” violence which has left at least 240 dead given that April.

The violence increased in recent weeks, with bodies discovered on the streets on a everyday basis.

Those facing the US sanctions are

  • Public Security Minister Alain Guillaume Bunyoni
  • The deputy director of the national police, Godefroid Bizimana
  • Former intelligence chief Godefroid Niymombare
  • Former Defence Minister Cyrille Ndayirukiye

The White Residence stated it had received “numerous, credible, and ongoing reports of targeted killings, arbitrary arrests, torture, and political repression by safety forces, as nicely as violence and abuses by youth militia affiliated with the ruling party”.

“Current harmful rhetoric by government officials has additional contributed to the climate of worry and dangers inciting additional violence,” the statement added.

“At the identical time, some of those opposed to the Nkurunziza government have resorted to violence against the government.”

Earlier this month, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution strongly condemning the escalating violence.

The French-drafted resolution also paves the way for a feasible deployment of blue-helmeted UN peacekeepers.

Burundi’s constitutional court backed Mr Nkurunziza’s third-term bid, as his first term as president did not count towards the constitutional two-term limit simply because he was chosen by MPs, rather than in a common election.

Mr Nkurunziza was duly re-elected with 70% of the vote in July.

  • 10.4m population

  • 50 years – life expectancy for a man

  • 2nd poorest nation in the planet

  • 85% are Hutu, 14% Tutsi

  • 300,000 died in civil war

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