- Burundi police on Sunday 8th November, 2015 launched house-to-house searches for weapons from gunmen.
- Sunday, gunmen executed nine people in Burundi’s capital Bujumbura.
- There are heightened international fears of fresh bloodletting in the central African nation.
- Burundi authorities launched a crackdown on illegal holders of arms after the government’s offer to surrender expired on Saturday 7th November, 2015.
Summary and Analysis
Burundi authorities launched a crackdown on illegal holders of arms on Sunday 8th November, 2015, hours after gunmen executed nine people in the capital Bujumbura.
The door to door operation came on the eve of a special meeting of the United Nations Security Council that discussed a surge in violence and ethnic tensions in Burundi.
It also came a day after Burundi authorities ended the offer to attackers to surrender to the authorities, which has been in place until Saturday 7th November, 2015.
The offer was probably downplayed by anti-government gunmen who killed nine people, only a day after its expiry.
With the ignoring of the offer to surrender and with the heighted attacks, there is already an enemy for Burundi from within, which the authorities have sworn to finish off.
Burundi’s turmoil stems from President Pierre Nkurunziza bid for a third term in April, that followed his re-election in July, 2015. At least 200 people have died and thousands have fled.
Relations between Rwanda and neighbouring Burundi are forecast to grow even more strained, with Bujumbura accusing Kigali of backing those who oppose the president’s third term in office.
On the other hand, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame accused the Burundi government of carrying out mass executions.
While Kagame subscribes to Tutsi ethnicity, Nkurunziza is Hutu and former leader of the Hutu rebel group. This explains their increasing rifts even as the unrest in Burundi escalates. Hutu and Tutsi are the only tribes across the two countries’ borders.
The recently launched crackdown has been criticized by analysts as only to spur ethnic violence.