Burundi: Ex-Prime Minister Arrested

A former Prime Minister of Burundi, Alain-Guillaume Bunyoni, wanted by the court for days without being informed by the authorities, has been arrested, the National Independent Commission for Human Rights (CNIDH) and an official have been arrested. Senior security announced on Saturday.

Alain-Guillaume Bunyoni, who has been Prime Minister since June 2020, was sacked by President Evariste Ndayishimiye on 7 September and replaced by Interior Minister Gervais Ndirakobuca. Five days earlier, the Head of State in a speech denounced the desire to carry out a “coup” by those who considered themselves “almighty” and were trying to “sabotage” his actions. . Mr. Bunyoni has long been seen as the regime’s real number two since the 2015 political crisis and is the leader of the hardliners among the generals operating behind the scenes of the right to power. force.

The Independent National Commission on Human Rights visited on Saturday “to meet with General Alain Guillaume Bunyoni. He is doing well. He has not been subjected to any torture or other abuse since his arrest,” CNIDH said in a tweet. Burundi Interior Minister Martin Niteretse announced Wednesday at a press conference that Alain-Guillaume Bunyoni is wanted by the court and several searches have been carried out without being able to locate him. , and also claims to ignore the reasons. of these operations. “In fact, General Bunyoni was arrested very quickly by the national intelligence service,” a senior security official, who asked to remain anonymous, told AFP. Since the end of a civil war that devastated the country from 1993 to 2006 and claimed the lives of 300,000 people, the country has been gripped by the regime’s iron fist, thanks to Imbonerakure, the party’s youth union. rights, CNDD-FDD. and the National Intelligence Service.

While the international community welcomes a certain openness in the country since Evariste Ndayishimiye came to power in June 2020 following the brutal death of Pierre Nkurunziza, a United Nations commission of inquiry has confirmed determined in September 2021 that the human rights situation remains “catastrophic” in Burundi. Since independence in 1962, Burundi has been the site of numerous massacres and conflicts between the Hutu and Tutsi communities, estimated at 85% and 14% of the population, respectively.

Burundi, landlocked in the Great Lakes region, is the world’s poorest country in terms of GDP per capita according to the World Bank, which estimates that 75% of its 12 million inhabitants live below the poverty line.

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