Human rights advocate Pierre Claver Mbonimpa.

Burundi: spiral of violence

Close to new civil war

A well-known human rights advocate, Pierre Claver Mbonimpa , was badly injured in an attack in Bujumbura on Tuesday. Mbonimpa had strongly criticized President Pierre Nkurunziza for staying in power for a third term.

The attack appears to be a retaliation for the recent assassination of a general who was close to the president.

“This suggests that Nkurunziza's regime perceive all critics as enemies. A well-known member of civil society is punished for the actions of those who attempted to take power in a military coup in May, believed to be behind the assassination on Sunday. A wartime logic indeed”, says Jesper Bjarnesen, senior researcher at NAI.

“After ten years of peace, Burundi is in danger of reopening the fault lines that once led the country into civil war”, International Crisis Group wrote in a report already in May.

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