One Killed in More Violence in Burundi
At least one person was killed in a grenade attack on a bar in Burundi on Monday night, witnesses said, in more violence since the African Union backed away from sending in peacekeepers without the government’s consent.
The grenades went off in the Butere neighborhood of the capital Bujumbura on Monday night.
“One person was killed instantly,” said Jean de Dieu, who was near the scene of the attack.
Police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye confirmed two grenades were detonated and eight people were wounded.
Burundi sank into a crisis last year after President Pierre Nkurunziza ran for a third term of office, which he secured in a disputed vote.
African leaders, who met in Addis Ababa at the weekend, agreed to send a team to try to persuade Nkurunziza to accept a 5,000-strong force after he rejected the plan and said any such force would be treated as an invasion.
The Butere neighborhood was one of the flashpoints during the height of the violent protest against Nkurunziza’s decision, along with the neighboring Mutakura and Cibitoke areas.
When the peacekeeping plan was announced in December by the African Union’s peace and Security Council, officials had said they could invoke an article of the AU’s charter that allows it to act even without a government’s agreement.
But African leaders showed wariness of such a move at the summit and instead decided to seek approval first.
One Western diplomat said he understood that the leaders had agreed to request that the U.N. Security Council pass a resolution that could threaten sanctions if Burundi refused.