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Bujumbura / Security: Attack in Mukike, 2 dead, 10 young people missing and 3 injured

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Friday night, August 29 was an appalling night for the inhabitants of the Ndayi hill of the Bikanka zone in Mukike commune, Bujumbura province.

NCMP gathered on the IWACU website that armed men attacked certain households in this locality with knives and clubs. According to testimonies on the spot two people, including a certain Jonas, were killed. The latter’s body was found near a swamp far from this house. The other person, a seriously injured woman, died in an ambulance during the evacuation to the hospital.

The inhabitants met indicate that more than 10 young people were missing during this attack. They also speak of 3 wounded mainly with knives and other blunt objects.

Among the injured is Thomas, the father of this victim named Jonas. This man was quickly evacuated to Ijenda hospital with his wife and two other people. He injured his calf when he tried to climb the bamboo enclosure.

According to local sources, around 1 p.m. this Friday, there were already suspicious movements of strangers in this locality. These people quenched their thirst and ate peanuts.

According to local sources, it was around 8 p.m. that the governor of Bujumbura alerted Mukike’s new administrator, Frédéric Kurubone, that there was a group of unidentified armed men present.

During a security meeting organized by this administrator, most of whom were women and old people, he attacked the population. He told them that it is incomprehensible that a group of armed men invest the bistros of the place, quench their thirst, pay the addition of 50,000 Burundian francs for the bottles of beer consumed, and 20,000 Burundian francs for the peanuts eaten, without anyone thinking of notifying the administrator.

And he continued to lecture them, asking them where the young and able-bodied men were. But the participants in this meeting retorted that the young people went to graze the cattle.

The administrator of this commune of Mukike gave his phone number so that he would be notified of any suspicious movement.

What raised much concern in the event and as noticed by NCMP, most journalists weren’t allowed to follow the whole meeting. Some were arrested and their equipment was collected for several hours before they were later released and their equipment was given back to them.

For instance, NCMP gathered that the Iwacu reporter dispatched to the scene was not allowed to follow the whole meeting. He was asked to move away more than 200 meters under guard provided by two police officers. His press card, phone, camera, and recorder were taken from him. The journalist was interrogated by an agent of the National Intelligence Service. The questions revolved around the reason for his trip and the person who “gave him the information”, as if he wanted to insinuate that he was in cahoots with this group of armed men not yet identified. Finally, after more than two hours, the SNR agent gave him all his equipment after taking care to photograph this equipment and the press card. He ordered him to leave immediately and to get away from this “red zone” with his driver.

Same worries for the journalist of the radio Isanganiro who went to report in this commune of Mukike after this attack. He was arrested by the regional commissioner and the provincial commissioner arguing that Mukike is a “red zone”, that it should not be there.

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