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Country profile for Burundi

Provided Courtesy of Security Exchange 24

Risk Rating

Red (High Risk) InTouch advice:

Most parts of the country are dangerous.

Do not travel unless absolutely necessary.

Amber (Moderate Risk)
Amber (Moderate Risk) InTouch advice:

Some parts of the country are dangerous.

Travel with caution.

Green (Low Risk) InTouch advice:

Most parts of the country are safe.

Travel freely.

General Information

  • Capital: Gitega (since 2019)
  • Major Languages: Kirundi, French
  • Currency: Burundi Franc
  • Timezone: GMT +2:00

Country Map

Map of Burundi

In April, 2015 President Pierre Nkurunziza announced that he was running for a third term in office, despite the two term limit in Burundi’s constitution. The decision sparked months of opposition-led protests in the country, during which at least 70 people were killed and tens of thousands more fled to neighbouring Rwanda, Tanzania and DR Congo to escape the violence. On 13 May members of the military, led by General Godefroid Niyombare, declared a coup d’état while the president was attending a summit in Tanzania. Gen. Niyombare announced that Nkurunziza had been dismissed, while rebels seized control of Bujumbura International Airport; however, two days later the coup leaders surrendered to government forces and the president returned to the country.  

In July, 2015 Nkurunziza won re-election with almost 70 percent of the vote. The opposition boycotted the elections, claiming the government shutdown of independent media and a security clampdown was undemocratic and designed to prevent a free and fair contest. The political unrest has raised fears that Burundi could return to civil war, a decade after the 12-year conflict ended. An estimated 300,000 people died and thousands more were displaced in the fighting, which was fuelled by long-standing ethnic divisions between the Hutu and Tutsi communities.  As a result of this political instability, armed and violent clashes frequently break out between opposition and security forces.

Tensions between Rwanda and Burundi are high following accusations of Rwanda having trained and armed rebels in refugee camps, with an apparent view of unseating incumbent Burundian President Nkurunziza. This accusation has been corroborated by a UN panel report that indicated that Burundian refugees, including children, were recruited at a refugee camp in eastern Rwanda. Although Rwanda has consistently denied training rebels, it has announced that it is going to relocate 75,000 Burundian refugees to other countries. With the deterioration of political and diplomatic relations between Rwanda and Burundi, there is a fear that the region may split into two rival blocks, and that increased civil tensions in Burundi could result in cross-border violence.

The main Hutu rebel group, the PALIPEHUTU-FNL, became the National Liberation Forces (FNL) political party in 2009 as part of a ceasefire agreement with the government. However, smaller rebel and criminal groups remain active in and around the country’s borders, often carrying out attacks from DR Congo or Tanzania. In December, 2014 an unidentified group of 150 rebels from DR Congo clashed with the army in the Cibitoke province, during which two soldiers and 95 fighters were killed. There have also been reports that the ruling CNDD-FDD party has been arming its youth wing, the Imbonerakure, in recent years. Civilians fleeing the recent unrest claim the Imbonerakure waged a campaign of violence to help President Nkurunziza – a key rebel leader in the civil war – suppress dissent and to secure his third term.

Burundian troops make up part of the 22,000 strong African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which is mandated “to reduce the threat posed by al-Shabaab”. As a consequence there is an ongoing terrorist threat against all of the participating members, including Burundi. The group have carried out deadly attacks in Kenya - Garissa University College (2015) and the Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi (2013) – and in the Ugandan capital, Kampala (2010). The threat is highest in the capital, Bujumbura, and near military installations.

High levels of poverty and corruption in Burundi have resulted in a similarly high crime rate. Criminals are normally armed and incidents of robbery and carjacking often result in serious injury or fatality. In Bujumbura there has been an increase in the number of robberies in the Kinindo neighbourhood, while in 2014 three Italian nuns were brutally murdered in the capital during a suspected armed robbery. Armed robberies often target banks and foreign exchange offices. Carjackings are also a concern on the roads leading out of the capital and driving at night should be avoided wherever possible.

Burundi is among a number of countries worldwide which have been hit by the global outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus. The latest case figures can be viewed here.

News articles

By Jessica Hatcher

Burundi's journalists on the run

Just back from covering the elections in Burundi, freelance reporter Jessica Hatcher says local journalists are under attack.

By Jessica Hatcher

INSI Eye: Safety advice for journalists in Burundi

Things can change rapidly in Bujumbura: within hours, foreign journalists can turn from friends into foes due to perceptions that they are partial to one side or the other. 

View all articles for Burundi

Alerts for Burundi

One killed in Mugongomanga shooting

One person has been killed and another wounded in a shooting at a bar in the Mugongomanga commune. The incident happened at a bar on Butagazwa hill on Thursday evening. Troops based in Mugongo were deployed to the scene but when they arrived the assailants had already fled.

Five killed in latest Bujumbura attack

Five people have been killed and around 50 others wounded in a grenade attack in the economic capital Bujumbura. Two grenades were thrown at a bus parking lot in the city centre, while a third attack was recorded in the Bwiza neighbourhood on Monday night. The incident follows a grenade attack in Gitega on Sunday, and a mortar attack on Bujumbura airport, which was claimed by the Resistance for the Rule of Law in Burundi (RED-Tabara) rebel group.

Two killed in grenade attack

Two people have been killed and several others wounded in a grenade attack in the capital, Gitega. Police officials said several suspects have been arrested in connection with the attack, which took place on Sunday night. The incident comes after the RED-Tabara rebel group fired mortar shells at Bujumbura airport.

Rebel group attack Bujumbua airport

A rebel group has fired mortar shells at Bujumbura airport as President Évariste Ndayishimiye was flying to New York. Three 82mm shells hit the Melchior-Ndadaye International Airport late on Saturday but no significant damage was reported, while gunshots were also reported in the centre of Bujumbura. The Resistance for the Rule of Law in Burundi (RED-Tabara) group, which is based in DR Congo, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Four wounded in Bururi attack

At least four people have been wounded in an ambush in the southern Bururi province. The victims were travelling in the Vyuya area of the Mugamba commune when they were targeted by unknown assailants. The injured were evacuated to a nearby health facility for treatment, while local residents have called for an increased police presence in the area.

Fifteen killed in central Burundi attack

At least 15 people have been killed in an attack in central Burundi. Gunmen blocked a road in Muramvya province on Saturday night and then opened fire on vehicles. Two minibuses were also torched in the attack, which the interior ministry described as terrorism. No arrests have been made and investigations are ongoing.

One killed in clashes between army and FLN rebels

At least one person has been killed in clashes between the Burundian army and Army for the Liberation of Rwanda (FLN) rebels. A rebel fighter was killed during a series of battles between the two sides in the Kibira forest over the weekend. Six Burundian soldiers were also wounded in an ambush.

Two killed in grenade attacks, Bujumbura

Two people were killed and several others were wounded in two grenade attacks in Bujumbura on Tuesday. "One person died on the spot and another one died after being evacuated in a health facility due to grenades blasted by terrorists around 7 p.m. (5 p.m. GMT) in Bujumbura's city center," said the Burundian security ministry. The attacks were carried out at the main bus station in the city and in the northern Ngagara neighbourhood.

Twelve killed in ambush on Bujumbura-Gitega road

At least 12 people have been killed in an ambush on the Bujumbura-Gitega road. The victims, including Col Onesphore Nizigiyimana who had served with the United Nations Mission in Somalia, were targeted in the Muramvya area on Sunday night. Several other people were wounded and vehicles torched in the attack. "We are saddened to see Burundi lose its children once again because of bandits. (...) All criminals must be put out of action," said President Evariste Ndayishimiye on Monday.

Minister sacked over plane sale

Burundi's Minister for Trade, Transport, Industry and Tourism has been sacked for "putting the economy at risk and tarnishing the image of the country." Immaculee Ndabaneze was detained and questioned on Sunday over corruption allegations involving the sale of a plane owned by the now-defunct Air Burundi. The aircraft was sold to a South African businessman for a price well below market value.

Two killed in home invasion, Bujumbura

A child and a domestic worker have been killed during a home invasion in Bujumbura. Gunmen stormed the home of Athanase Mpawenayo, president of the Cndd-Fdd on Makamba hill, in the Gitwa district on Sunday. Local police said that Mpawenayo was the target of the attack as nothing was stolen during the raid. Two people have been arrested in connection with the attack.

Polio vaccination campaign launched for children

A polio vaccination campaign has been launched in Burundi. “In all, 675,962 children born in the period of June 2016 and June 2018 will be vaccinated. They are between three years old and four years 9 months old, ”said Dr Olivier Nijimbere, director of the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI). The programme is a catch-up campaign caused by a global shortage of the vaccine between 2016 and 2018.

Former MP charged with slandering late president

Former lawmaker Fabien Banciryanino has been charged with rebellion after he was accused of slandering late President Pierre Nkurunziza. Banciryanino was arrested by intelligence officers last Friday near his home in Bujumbura. Earlier this year he said that President Nkurunziza "should be prosecuted for rights violations and killings done when he was in power". Banciryanino lost his seat during elections in May.

Three killed in Burambi attack

At least three people have been killed in an attack in Burambi. Two other people were wounded and another kidnapped during the raid, which took place in the Maramvya area on Tuesday night. Witnesses said the assailants were wearing Burundian police uniforms.

Hundreds of refugees return to Burundi

Hundreds of refugees who are currently exiled in Rwanda have departed towards Burundi. In total, around 500 people are set to go back to Burundi as part of the first wave of returnees. Burundian refugees crossed the border to Rwanda and Tanzania after political turmoil engulfed the country in 2015. Political tensions emerged after President Pierre Nkurunziza sought a third term in office. President Nkurunziza was replaced by Evariste Ndayishimiye after he died of a heart attack. Rwanda and Tanzania currently house some 272,000 Burundian refugees.

Three children killed in grenade attack near Bujumbura

Three children have been killed and eight people wounded in a grenade attack near Bujumbura. The device was thrown inside a hair salon in the Gahahe district on Thursday morning. Police said three people have been arrested in connection with the attack.

Funeral held for former president Nkurunziza in Gitega

The funeral for former President Pierre Nkurunziza has been held at a football stadium in Gitega. Nkurunziza, who had been in office since 2005, died from a cardiac arrest on 9 June. Tanzania's prime minister and Zambia's first lady were among those who attended the ceremony on Friday. He will be buried at a special mausoleum in the capital in two weeks.

Evariste Ndayishimiye sworn in as Burundi's president

 Evariste Ndayishimiye has been sworn in as Burundi's new president. The ceremony was moved forward by two months after his predecessor, Pierre Nkurunziza, died suddenly last week. Ndayishimiye won the election in May despite claims from the opposition that the vote was rigged.

President Nkurunziza dies after suffering a heart attack

Outgoing President Pierre Nkurunziza has died after suffering a heart attack. According to an official statement, the president died on Monday evening. Nkurunziza ruled Burundi for 15 years. He will now be replaced by Evariste Ndayishimiye, who won a contested presidential election in May for the ruling CNDD-FDD. Nkurunziza had agreed not to run for re-election despite the approval of a controversial referendum that would have allowed him to remain in power until 2034.

Oppositions files case in constitutional court over election

National Freedom Council's Agathon Rwasa has filed a case in the constitutional court in protest against the results of the presidential election. The opposition party said it had gathered evidence of fraud during the vote, which was won by the ruling party candidate Evariste Ndayishimiye with 69 percent of the vote. "We have provided evidence that there has been a massive fraud," Rwasa said. "The announced results are false."

Ruling party wins presidential election

The candidate for the ruling CNDD-FDD party has won Burundi's presidential election. Electoral officials said Evariste Ndayishimiye received 69 percent of the vote, beating opposition leader Agathon Rwasa, who won 24 percent of the vote. There have been allegations of vote-rigging and repression during the campaign. Incumbent President Pierre Nkurunziza will become a "supreme guide" and is set to receive a $500k gift along with a luxury villa.

Voting underway in Burundi

Voting is underway for Burundi's general elections. Polling stations opened at 06:00 on Wednesday, with voters set to elect a new president, MPs and communal council members. The main contenders for the presidential race are Agathon Rwasa of the opposition CNL party and Evariste Ndayishimiye from the ruling CNDD-FDD party. Officials have blocked access to the internet and only users with VPNs are currently able to access social media. Preliminary results are expected to be out on 25 May.

Burundi expels WHO officials working on Covid-19 response

Burundi has ordered the country's World Health Organisation (WHO) representative and three other health officials to leave the country. WHO's representative Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo, the country's coronavirus coordinator Dr Jean Pierre Mulunda Nkata, communicable diseases head Dr Ruhana Mirindi Bisimwa, and laboratory expert Professor Daniel Tarzy have been ordered to leave Burundi by Friday. "They are expelled and the health minister has totally excluded WHO, accusing it of unacceptable interference in its management of the coronavirus," an anonymous official told the AFP. The decision comes days ahead of general elections in Burundi.

Grenade kills two in Bujumbura bar

Two people have been killed and eight others wounded in a grenade attack on a bar in Bujumbura. The device was thrown into a bar which reportedly belonged to a member of the Imbonerakure youth wing of the governing party, the National Council for the Defence of Democracy (CNDD-FDD). The Imbonerakure has been accused of carrying out attacks against the opposition ahead of presidential elections later this month. One of the deceased has been named as Laurene Muzaliwa, a foreign student from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Political rallies spark virus fears

Reports of thousands of people gathering for political rallies has sparked concerns about the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19). Campaigning is underway in the country ahead of presidential elections, which are scheduled to take place next month. There have been 14 confirmed cases of the virus and one death in Burundi.

President Kagame accuses Burundi of fighting in DRC

Rwanda's President Paul Kagame has accused the Burundian security forces of fighting in eastern DR Congo. “Our intelligence collection tells us [that] we have forces from Burundi, government forces, operating in that region," said Kagame on Monday, while also denying that Rwandan troops were also operating across the border. “There is not a single soldier of Rwandan Defense Force that has gone to that territory…[and] the government of DRC knows the fact that not a single soldier of RDF is there,” he added. NGOs and local activists in DR Congo have accused both countries of supporting rebel groups in North and South Kivu.

Health Ministry confirms first cases of coronavirus

Burundi's Health Ministry has confirmed the first cases of coronavirus (Covid-19). The ministry said two Burundian nationals contracted the virus after travelling to Dubai. All of Burundi's neighbours have already confirmed cases of Covid-19.

Former president banned from May election

Former president Domitien Ndayizeye has been barred from running in Burundi's upcoming presidential election. Despite having more than the 200 required nominations, the electoral commission rejected his candidacy. Three other candidates have also been rejected, leaving a field of six for the vote in May. Earlier this week a UN commission of inquiry warned about the deteriorating human rights situation in the country, including attacks by a youth league linked to the ruling party.

Election violence leaves 24 dead

At least 24 people have been killed in clashes between police and unidentified militants near Bujumbura. The unrest comes ahead of general elections scheduled to take place on 20 May. "Wrongdoers took advantage of this electoral period thinking people are distracted," said the security ministry’s spokesman, Pierre Nkurikiye.

Opposition picks candidate for presidential election

The opposition National Congress for Liberty (CNL) has picked Agathin Rwasa as its candidate for the upcoming presidential election. The 56-year-old was approved by the party on Sunday. He is a longterm opponent of President Pierre Nkurunziza, who sparked a political crisis when he sought a third term in 2015 in violation of the two-term limit in the constitution. The ruling CNDD-FDD has nominated General Evariste Ndayishimiye, an ally of Nkurunziza, to stand in the vote in May.

Four journalists jailed for 'undermining state security'

Four journalists have been jailed for two and a half years in Burundi over allegations that they were 'undermining state security'. The reporters, who worked for the private Iwacu news organisation, were detained in the western Bubanza province in October. Activists and rights groups have condemned the sentencing. "The conviction and sentencing of Agnes Ndirubusa, Christine Kamikazi, Egide Harerimana and Terence Mpozenzi on trumped-up charges marks a sad day for the right to freedom of expression and press freedom in Burundi," said Seif Magango, Amnesty International's Deputy Regional Director for East Africa.

Parliament to vote on granting special title to President Nkurunziza

Parliament is expected to vote on the designation of President Pierre Nkunrunziza as the 'Supreme Guide of Patriotism'. Ahead of the presidential elections in May, President Nkurunziza has already said that he is not running for office after aspirations of a third term led to violent demonstrations in 2015. Although it is still unclear what the powers included with the title are, government spokesman Prosper Ntahorwamiye said: “Nkurunziza deserves consideration for services he did for the Burundian people, who decided to elevate him to the rank of the supreme guide in patriotism." On Sunday, the secretary-general of the ruling CNDD-FDD party, Evariste Ndayishimiye, was nominated as the party's presidential candidate.

Journalist arrested after embezzlement story

A journalist has been arrested after he reported on misuse of public funds in Burundi. Radio journalist Blaise Pascal Kararumiye was detained on Thursday and interrogated without a lawyer, according to Radio Isanganiro. The station has contacted the Independent National Commission for Human Rights (CNIDH) to request their support in getting Kararumiye released.

Mass graves discovered in Burundi

An investigation by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has discovered more than 4,000 mass graves in Burundi. The victims were killed between 1965 and 1993 during various outbreaks of violence between Hutus and Tutsis. “Many more mass graves are yet to be found because people who know about them are afraid to talk or are traumatized,” said commission chairperson Pierre-Claver Ndayicariye.

Dozens killed by landslides in north-west

At least 26 people have been killed and 10 others are missing following landslides in north-west Burundi. Heavy rains have hit Nyempundu, Gikomero and Rukombe in the Cibitoke province near the border with Rwanda. "It happened in the night, when everyone was at home, and landslides hit three very steep hills and buried everything in their path," a witness told AFP. "Whole families were buried alive in their homes or in the fields. It was terrifying."

Opposition politician found dead in forest

The body of an opposition politician has been found in a forest in Burundi. Marie Claire Niyongere, deputy leader of the women's wing of the main opposition Congress for Freedom (CNL), was discovered on Tuesday. CNL spokesperson Terence Manirambona said Niyongere was sexually assaulted before she was killed. A suspect is still at large and is being tracked by police, who are yet to confirm whether the killing was politically motivated. Another party member, Nsavyumwami Gregoire, was killed by an armed gang in August.

Three killed in Bujumbura attack

At least three people have been killed in an attack on a bar in Bujumbura. Three others were wounded in the blast, which occurred at Chez Gilbert in the Rohero district on Friday night. The assailants also opened fire after throwing the device. Burundi police deputy spokesman Moïse Nkurunziza described the incident as a "terrorist attack" which sought to destabilise the country ahead of elections in 2020.

Jailed journalists charged with undermining state security

Four journalists detained in the north-western province of Bubanza have been charged with undermining state security. Human Rights Watch (HRW) and their privately-owned Iwacu news outlet claimed that they were detained while covering clashes between the military and suspected members of the Resistance Movement for the Rule and Law in Burundi. Reports indicate that clashes erupted last week in the Kibira Natural Reserve. In recent years, media repression in Burundi has been widely reported as President Pierre Nkurunziza pushes for re-election in 2020. HRW said: "Independent journalists are regarded by the Nkurunziza government as being enemies of the state. They play a crucial role in reporting on increasing abuses as we move toward the 2020 election. This is a terrible sign for Burundi". As well as the suppression of free media, President Nkurunziza's government is accused of targeting the opposition.

Four journalists arrested in Bubanza

Four journalists and a media worker have been detained by police in Bubanza province. The group had travelled to the western region to cover clashes between the security forces and insurgents from DR Congo. The Committee to Protection Journalists (CPJ) has called on the authorities to immediately release the reporters, who all worked for the privately-owned Iwacu outlet.

Security forces kill 14 armed men in Bubanza

The Burundian security forces have killed 14 armed men in the north-western province of Bubanza. Officials said the group had entered the province from neighbouring DR Congo and were plotting to launch an attack. Last year 26 people died when gunmen carried out an attack in Ruhagarika. The potential for politically motivated violence is increasing in Burundi, according to the UN, as the country prepares for elections in 2020.

Government attacks bishops for spreading 'hatred'

Burundi's government has called for several Catholic bishops to be defrocked after they expressed concern about intolerance and political violence ahead of next year's elections."Criminal acts go as far as murders with political motives... perpetrated against those with different opinions to the government," said the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Burundi on Sunday. In response, the government accused bishops of "spitting venomous hatred," while the secretary-general of the ruling CNDD-FDD Evariste Ndayishimiye accused the bishops of "sowing division".

Rally due to take place in Bujumbura

A rally is scheduled to take place in the capital, Bujumbura, on Saturday 17 August. The event will mark Imbonerakure Day and is set to start at 09:00 at the CNDD-FDD headquarters off of Route-1 and end at Place de l’Indépendance. The march is likely to lead to delays and congestion along the route.

Malaria epidemic kills 1,800 in Burundi

More than 1,800 people have been killed in an outbreak of malaria in Burundi, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). A total of 5.7m cases of malaria were recorded between 1 January and 21 July said OCHA. With a population of just 11m, the outbreak has affected more than half of the population. "The national malaria outbreak response plan, which is currently being validated, has highlighted a lack of human, logistical and financial resources for effective response," OCHA said in its report.

Three schoolgirls arrested for insulting President Nkurunziza

Three schoolgirls have been arrested for defacing a photo of President Pierre Nkurunziza. Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the group were detained last week and charged with insulting the head of state. They could face five years in prison if they are found guilty.

Four killed by police officer in Gatumba

A drunk police officer has shot dead a colleague and three others at a bar in Gatumba near Bujumbura. "Nizigiyimana Léopold shot and killed his colleague Magenge Léopold and three civilians in the Kumbingo bar while he was drunk," said a spokesman for the Ministry of Public Security. The officer has been detained and will face murder charges.

Burundi to shut down UN office

Burundi has announced that it will shut down the UN Human Rights Council office in the country within two months. “All international staff must be immediately redeployed and the office has two months to pack up and close its doors,” said an anonymous source at the foreign ministry. In 2016 Burundi suspended its cooperation with the UN over a report which accused the government of carrying out systematic abuses.

Government boycotts peace talks

Burundi's government is set to boycott peace talks which are taking place in Tanzania. In a statement, the government said it would not be sending a delegation to Arusha because October is a month of mourning in Burundi. The talks were arranged to discuss the ongoing political crisis in the country which began when President Pierre Nkurunziza ran for a third term in 2015 after changing the constitution. Last week the government accused opposition leader Pierre-Celestin Ndikumana of plotting to kill the president.

Three killed in attack near Cibitoke

Three people have been killed in an attack near Cibitoke. Gunmen reported to be from Rwanda raided the village of Camakombe in Mugina commune on Monday morning. Local residents are calling for increased security in the area, while Cibitoke governor Joseph Iteriteka also accused of Rwanda of being a bad neighbour.

Child killed in grenade attack, Cibitoke

A one-year-old child has been killed and his parents seriously wounded in a grenade attack in Cibitoke province. The device was thrown at the family home in the Mugina commune on Monday. In a separate incident, an elderly woman was found dead in suspicious circumstances in the Ruziba hill area of the commune.

Burundi rebels killed by DRC troops

Suspected Burundian rebels have clashed with the DR Congo security forces along the two countries shared border. Officials in the DRC said members of the National Liberation Front (FLN) attacked troops at the Kavimvira border crossing on Friday night. "Two rebels were killed, "said Congolese army spokesman in South Kivu, Louis Tshimwang. The border crossing was briefly closed before reopening on Saturday.

President Nkurunziza vows to quit in 2020

Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza has vowed to step down when his current mandate ends in 2020. The president made the announcement during a trip to Gitega province, where the new constitution was signed into law. Last month Burundians voted to support constitutional reform, which extends presidential term limits. It was widely expected that Nkurunziza pushed through the reforms in order to remain in office until 2034.

Opposition coalition calls court to scrap referendum's results

Burundi's opposition coalition has called the constitutional court to reject the results of the referendum held earlier in the month. Opposition leader Amizero y'Abarundi said that voters were intimated and abused. Burundians were forbidden to abstain over threats of being imprisoned for up to three years. According to preliminary results released on Monday, 73 percent of the voters backed the amendments, which will allow President Pierre Nkurunziza to stay in power until 2034. 

Burundi votes for constitutional change

Burundians have voted to change the constitution in a referendum, with around 76 percent of votes in favour. The move could allow the incumbent president, Pierre Nkurunziza, to remain in office through to 2034. He ran for a third term in 2015, despite a two-term constitutional term limit, sparking a wave of violence and an attempted coup. The opposition has already said that it would reject the results of the referendum, calling the process a "parody."

Fifteen killed in referendum campaign

At least 15 people were killed during the referendum campaign in Burundi, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW). Suspected opponents were “killed, raped, abducted, beaten, and intimidated,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement. “Burundi’s referendum took place amid widespread abuse, fear and pressure, a climate that is clearly not conducive to free choice,” said Ida Sawyer, the group’s central Africa director.

Fears of violence as Burundians vote to extend presidential term

Burundians are set to head to polls on Thursday to vote in a contested constitutional referendum, which may allow President Nkurunziza to remain in office until 2034. Activists and international rights organisations fear that protests may escalate throughout the week as the opposition widely condemned the vote. President Nkurunziza has been in office since 2005. Nearly three years ago, a wave of violence engulfed the country after he was nominated for a third term in office.

Dozens killed in Burundi attack

At least 26 people have been killed and seven others wounded in an attack by unknown gunmen in a village in north-west Burundi. Officials said the assailants crossed from neighbouring DR Congo to target residents in Cibitoke province. The incident comes a week ahead of a referendum which could allow President Pierre Nkurunziza to remain in office until 2034.

Ruling party official detained over threats

A member of Burundi's ruling party has been arrested for calling on supporters to throw opponents into a lake. Melchiade Nzopfabarushe made the comments at a political rally in Kabezi, close to the capital Bujumbura. “We said that we have ordered boats. We will send them (opponents) into Lake Tanganyika,” said Nzopfabarushe. An estimated 430,000 people have fled the country since President Pierre Nkurunziza was re-elected in 2015.

President Nkurunziza orders cabinet reshuffle ahead of referendum

President Pierre Nkurunziza has ordered a cabinet reshuffle ahead of the constitutional referendum scheduled for mid-May. In a statement released on Friday, Ezechiel Nibigira was announced as the new Burundian foreign minister. Nibigira's nomination comes as part of a broader reshuffle to Nkurunziza's administration, which has been facing violent protests since 2015 when he announced his plans to run for a third term in office. The referendum is set to introduce constitutional changes, including limits on presidential terms and extending them from five to seven years.

Security forces arrest 21 over alleged plot

The security forces in Burundi have arrested 21 people accused of planning to "disrupt security." The arrests were made at a table tennis club in the Carama district on Tuesday. "The population alerted security forces that people were often meeting at this house and that they had plans to disrupt security," said police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye. The suspects have been handed over to the SNR (National Intelligence Services) for interrogation.

Two killed in grenade blast

Two people have been killed and 14 others wounded in a grenade attack in central Burundi. The blast occurred in a village bar in the Gitega district late on Sunday. Two people have been arrested in connection with the attack.

Opposition head arrested in Burundi

The head of an opposition party has been arrested in Burundi. Aloys Baricako, president of the opposition ground RANAC (National Gathering for Change), was detained in the central town of Gitega on Tuesday. “The intelligence services in Gitega confirmed his arrest to us and said he was detained for inquiry,” said RANAC spokesman George Nikiza.

Political and economic crisis still affect millions nationwide

Millions of people continue to be affected as Burundi faces a deep economic and political crisis. The UN has informed that more than 3.5 million people nationwide require immediate humanitarian attention, while 200,000 people remain internally displaced. Meanwhile, the UN Office for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has revealed that seven million malaria cases were reported in Burundi in 2017. Since President Pierre Nkurunziza was elected for a third term in office, tensions between the opposition and the government have remained high as the latter seeks to introduce constitutional reforms and failed to bring together all parts of the long-standing conflict.

Thousands flee DRC clashes, head to Burundi

Around 6,000 people have crossed the border into Burundi to escape ongoing violence in the South Kivu province of DR Congo. Many of the refugees have travelled by boat across Lake Tanganyika over the last few days. Earlier on Friday DR Congo President Joseph Kabila blamed "terrorists" for the fighting. UNICEF said more than 1.3 million people have been displaced in the region, including around 800,000 children.

Police kill suspected robber in Bujumbura

Police have shot dead a suspected robber in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura. The suspect was killed after carrying out a burglary in the Gasekebuye area in the east of the city. Police spokesperson, Pierre Nkurikiye, said the deceased was found with a grenade.

ICC probe human rights abuses in Burundi

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has opened a full investigation into alleged crimes against humanity in Burundi. The investigation comes after Burundi withdrew from the ICC, although the court said its investigators will look at incidents that occurred before the country quit. Multiple human rights groups have accused the government and pro-government groups of committing human rights abuses since President Pierre Nkurunziza took the decision to run for a third term in office in 2015.

Burundi to withdraw from the ICC

Burundi is set to formally pull out of the International Criminal Court (ICC) amid the country's continuous political turmoil since President Nkurunziza was re-elected for a third term in office. The move came a year after the country announced plans to leave the ICC, which was initially followed by South Africa and The Gambia - both eventually reversed the decision. The UN have in recent months accused the government of currently engaging in crimes against humanity and requested the ICC to investigate top officials within the country's ruling government, National Intelligence Services, police and armed forces. Burundi is the first country to quit the 123-member organisation, which has been previously accused of being biased against Africa.

Four killed near Bujumbura

Four people have been killed in an attack near Burundi's capital, Bujumbura. A group of armed men raided a house in the Rubirizi sector commune of Mutimbuzi on Tuesday. Two others were wounded in the attack at the house, which neighbours claim was being used to brew illegal alcohol.

UN calls for probe into Burundi crimes

The UN Commission of Inquiry on Burundi said it had “reasonable grounds to believe that crimes against humanity have been committed and continue to be committed in Burundi,” in a report published on Monday. Investigators have urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open a case into the allegations "as soon as possible". Burundi's ambassador to the UN said the report was part of an "international conspiracy" against the country.

Rebel groups threaten to increase attacks

The Burundi Popular Forces rebel group has threatened to increase attacks against the government. “We are obliged to take military action against the powers in Bujumbura to stop the crimes that are being committed against the population by state organs,” said rebel spokesman Adolphe Manirakiza. The rebels are calling on the government to join peace talks with the opposition to end the current period of violence, which has seen hundreds killed and more than 400,000 displaced.

Two bars targeted in grenade attacks

One person has been killed and 29 others wounded in grenade attacks at two bars in the capital, Bujumbura. Police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye said the attacks took place in the Buyenzi area of the city late on Thursday. Police are investigating the incident, which is the latest in a series of similar sporadic acts of violence since 2015. 

Eight killed in Burundi grenade attack

Eight people have been killed and 50 others wounded in a grenade attack in northern Burundi.  “Still unidentified criminals threw a grenade last night around 8:00 pm (1800 GMT) into a group of a dozen people having a drink on Shinya hill in Gatara district,” said local administrator, Devote Ndayizeye. Police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye said an inquiry is underway to identify the assailants.

Eight killed in Burundi grenade attack

Eight people have been killed and dozens more wounded in a grenade attack in northern Burundi. Devote Ndayizeye, the administrator of Gatara commune in the province of Kayanza, said the incident took place at a bar on Sunday night.  The assailants fled the scene and the motive behind the attack has not been established.

Grenade blasts wound three in Bubanza

Three people have been wounded in three separate grenade attacks in the western province of Bubanza.  Two devices exploded at a village in the Musigati district on Monday, wounding three people, while a third blast was reported in the Rugazi district.  The injured civilians were taken to a health centre for treatment, while police are investigating the motives behind the attacks, including whether the incidents were linked.

Four Burundian nationals released in DR Congo

Four Burundian nationals have been released after being held for nearly two weeks in the DR Congo. The group was taken from a bus near the Congolese border in Gatumba on 09 April. Initial reports suggest their kidnappers demanded a ransom, but such allegations were not confirmed. Local Rights activists called for reinforcement along the Congolese border due to increasing security concerns.

CDC warns of malaria outbreak in Burundi

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a warning over an outbreak of Malaria in Burundi.  An epidemic was declared by the Ministry of Health in March due to increased cases in 18 provinces, with nine reporting particularly high numbers.  The CDC has advised travellers to take anti-malarial medication when travelling to the country.

Opposition group suspended in Burundi

The activities of the Movement for Solidarity and Democracy (MSD) have been suspended by Burundi's government over allegations that they planned to create a rebel group.  Home Affairs and Civic Education Ministry Spokesman Therence Ntahiraja said the MSD were suspended for six months.  “Recently, we heard Alexis Sinduhije (MSD chairman) announcing on some radio stations that his party is going to set a rebel group that will combat the government until he captures the country,” Ntahiraja said.

Two university students arrested in Burundi

Two university students have been detained by the intelligence services in Burundi.  A police spokesman said Elysée Dushime and Audace Nkunzimana were suspected of "inciting violence" without giving any further details.  Students in Burundi have been protesting since President Pierre Nkurunziza changed scholarships into loans.

Government boycotts peace talks in Tanzania

Burundi's government says it will not be attending peace talks with the opposition, which were due to resume in Tanzania.  "The government of Burundi finds some irregularities in the organisation of this present session," government spokesman Phillipe Nzobonariba said on Wednesday.  Talks with the main opposition bloc, CNARED, were intended to resolve the violent political crisis in Burundi, which was sparked in 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza said he would seek a third term, a violation of the constitution which he later won.

Travellers complain over lack of safety in crossing Lake Tanganyika

Burundi travellers to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) raised concerns over maritime safety on boats to cross the Lake Tanganyika. The main complaint regards the poor conditions of the vessels and the lack of safety features, such as life jackets. The situation is enhanced by strong winds that highly affect overcrowded boats, especially off Rumonge port in south-eastern Burundi which allegedly has no rescue services. Residents from Rumonge often use the service to trade, visit relatives or farm in the DRC.

Army major shot dead in Burundi

An army major has been shot dead in an attack in a remote area of Burundi.  Maj. Dieudonne Karashira was allegedly killed by a colleague near the Cankuzo military camp, around 200km from Bujumbura.  The suspect has been arrested and is being question by the security forces.

Environment minister shot dead in Bujumbura

Burundi's environment minister has been shot dead in the capital, Bujumbura.  Emmanuel Niyonkuru was gunned down while on his way home in Rohero at around 00:45, according to police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye.  At least 500 people have been killed and 300,000 have fled the country since political unrest began in Burundi in April, 2015.

Woman killed in Burundi grenade blast

A woman has been killed and her husband seriously wounded in a grenade attack in Burundi.  Assailants on a motorcycle threw the device as the couple walked in the Butaganzwa district of Ruyigi.  Residents told local media that the killing was probably linked to a land dispute.

Presidential spokesman survives assassination attempt

The head of communications for President Pierre Nkurunziza has survived an attempted assassination in the capital, Bujumbura.  Willy Nyamitwe was travelling home on Monday evening when "he was met with sustained gunfire and grenade explosions", a senior official told the AFP news agency.  A bodyguard was killed and another wounded in the attack, while Nyamitwe suffered minor injuries.  "I thank those who wish me a speedy recovery. I am doing well but saddened by the death of a best friend, the policeman Gasongo," Nyamitwe tweeted after the attack.

Burundi to withdraw troops from Somalia

Burundi is expected to withdraw its troops form the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) over the non-payment of their salaries.  "It's been 10 months our troops in Somalia have not been paid, the EU now refuses to send their salaries via the Burundian government ... we think it's time to bring them back," said Victor Burikukiye, president of a parliamentary committee on security and defense. More than 5,000 Burundian soliders are currently deployed in Somalia as part of the regional forces deployed to restore stability and defeat the al-Shabaab militant group.

US journalist arrested in Burundi

A US journalist was arrested along with her fixer in Burundi on Sunday.  Julia Steers, a fellow with the International Women's Media Foundation, and Gildas Yihundimpundu, were detained in the Matakura district of the capital, Bujumbura.  "CNC and police interrogated them for attempting to destroy evidence of crimes committed by insurgents," said police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye.

UN Security Council to send police to Burundi

The United Nations (UN) Security Council has announced plans to send a UN police force to Burundi to help restore stability in the country.  The UN say they will deploy 228 officers in response to the wave of violence that has left more than 450 people dead.  The move sparked protests in the capital, Bujumbura, on Saturday, with around 1,000 people marching peacefully through the streets towards the French embassy.

Former minister killed in Bujumbura

Former Burundi's minister of Regional Integration and East African Community Affairs has been shot dead in the capital Bujumbura. The Public Information Office of the Burundi National Police said Hafsa Mossi was assassinated on Wednesday morning by two armed criminals near the Gihosha neighbourhood. Mossi was minister during the 2010 government of President Pierre Nkurunziza, who condemned the "despicable and cowardly act".

Bandit killed and four others arrested in Bururi province

Burundian security forces have killed one bandit and arrested four others in Bururi province, southern Burundi. Local governor Christian Nkurunziza told the AFP that a group of 11 armed men in the Mubuga mountains when intercepted by government troops on Wednesday. The men are suspected to be members of a new rebellion against President Pierre Nkurunziza, who was re-elected in July, 2015 for a controversial third term. Since the elections Burundi has faced a deepening political crisis and an increase in politically-motivated violence.

Deadly grenade attack hits Ngozi

One person has been killed and four others wounded in a grenade attack in Burundi's Ngozi province.  Local governor Albert Nduwimana said the attack took place in Ngozi town on Tuesday morning.  The assailant, who was wearing a military uniform, also died in the blast.

President Nkurunziza gives rebels two weeks to surrender

Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza has warned rebel armed groups that they have 15 days to surrender.  In a televised broadcast on Thursday the president said: "‘‘know that for this we are ready to use the same methods as in 2010…We will bring security."  Six years ago the government carried out a mass crackdown on opposition figures around the presidential elections, during which Mr Nkurunziza was the only candidate.

Three dead in Burundi violence

Three people have been killed in the latest outbreak of politically-motivated violence in Burundi.  Retired army Colonel Ruyifiyi Lucien was shot dead outside his home in the Ngagara district of the capital, Bujumbura.  Elsewhere a group of 10 gunmen killed the chief of judicial police and a guard in the central Mwaro province.  More than 400 people have died since President Pierre Nkurunziza announced plans to stand for a third term in 2015, despite opponents claiming it was unconstitutional.

Three dead in Burundi bar attack

Three people have been killed and a fourth wounded in an attack on a bar in south-west Burundi.  The incident happened in the Burambi district of Rumonge province on Monday night.  "They shot dead three persons including two retired soldiers and a young man. Another young man was seriously injured and evacuated to Rumonge hospital," said district administrator Adelaide Nduwimana. Elsewhere the mayor of Bujumbura, Freddy Mbonimpa, said three people died last weekend in "terrorist acts" in the capital.

Five dead in bar attack in Bujumbura

Five people have been killed and three others wounded in a bar attack in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura. According to the police, four armed men stormed a bar in the neighbourhood of Musaga, killing four civilians and one soldier. The attack was carried out by the members of the rebellious group 'Armed Criminals', which stands against the third-term of President Pierre Nkurunziza, who has been accused of violating the country's constitution. Over 500 people have already been killed and over 270,000 displaced since the crisis began last year.

Tutsi general killed in Burundi

A Tutsi general has been killed along with his wife and daughter in an attack by unknown gunmen.  General Athanase Kararuza was dropping his daughter off at school when they were targeted by heavily armed gunmen.  The killings come a day after Human Rights Minister Martin Nivyabandi and his wife were lightly injured in a grenade attack as they left a church in the Nyakabiga neighbourhood of Bujumbura.

Army officer shot dead in Bujumbura

A senior army officer was shot dead in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura, on Tuesday.  Lieutenant Colonel Darius Ikurakure was shot at the Defence Ministry by another soldier, who subsequently fled the scene.  UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the killing, saying "such acts of violence risk exacerbating the current crisis in Burundi."  Ikurakure had been accused of being behind the disappearances of opposition supporters since the country's political crisis was sparked last April.

Gunmen kill four near Bujumbura

Gunmen have killed four people in an attack near the capital, Bujumbura.  The killings took place as supporters of the ruling DNDD-FDD party gathered for a clean-up operation in the Mugamba district.  More than 400 people have been killed in violence since President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to change the constitution and run for a third term.

Burundi suspended by the OIF

Burundi has been partially suspended from the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF), according to a statement released on Friday. The reason given for the suspension is the lack of progress on a political dialogue within the country between the government and the opposition. The members of the Permanent Council said they “deplored the deterioration of the security situation and absence of progress in the establishment of a truly inclusive political dialogue despite significant continued efforts by the international community.” The recent political crisis was triggered when President Pierre Nkurunziza pushed through reforms to stay in power for a third term.

Former Rwandan minister dies in Burundi jail

Jacques Bihozagara, former Rwandan youth minister, died in a prison in Burundi on Thursday. Bihozagara was arrested in December by Burundi's intelligence services on suspicion of spying for his home country. According to the Burundian ministry of justice, Bihozagara suddenly fainted and died in the prison hospital. The government of Rwanda has demanded an immediate explanation from Burundi. Relations between the two countries remains strained over allegations that Rwanda's government supported rebels attempting to overthrow President Pierre Nkurunziza.

Army commander shot dead near Bujumbura

A Burundian army commander has been shot dead at a military headquarters around 20km north of the capital, Bujumbura.  Lieutenant Darius Ikurakure was killed when unknown assailants opened fire from a passing vehicle on Tuesday.  Ikurakure had previously been accused of involvement in the disappearance and extra-judicial killings of opposition supporters.

Three dead in latest Burnudi violence

One person has been killed and seven others wounded in another grenade attack in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura.  The city's mayor Freddy Mbonimpa said assailants on a motorcycle threw the device into the Kwa Siyoni market on Monday morning.  Meanwhile two people were killed and two others wounded in an attack by "armed criminals" in the central town of Gisozi, according to Jean-Marie Nyakarerwa, Governor of Mwaro province.

Motorcycles banned from capital after grenade attacks

Authorities in Burundi have banned motorcycles from the centre of the capital, Bujumbura, following a series of grenade attacks.  On Monday a child was killed and 30 people wounded in attacks by men on motorcycles.  "Having seen that it is these motorcycle taxis that often carry the criminals who explode grenades in the city, we decided to ban them from the center of Bujumbura," city mayor Freddy Mbonimpa said.  Motorbike taxis are a common form of transport in the city.

Child killed in Bujumbura grenade attacks

A child has been killed and at least 30 people wounded in a series of grenade attacks in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura.  Three devices were thrown by men on motorcycles in the centre of the city, while two other blasts were reported in a northern suburb.  Presidential press chief Willy Nyamitwe confirmed the attacks, saying that "as usual... terrorists kill civilians with grenades."

Grenade attack wounds 26 in Bujumbura

At least 26 people have been wounded in a grenade attack in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura.  The device was thrown into a crowded street in the Buyenzi district by a man on a motorcycle.  The incident follows a number of similar attacks in the city, including a number over last weekend that killed four people.

Four killed in Burundi grenade attacks

Four people have been killed and 12 others wounded in grenade attacks in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura.  "There were three simultaneous blasts. The one which hit a bar killed four people including a child who was selling boiled eggs," said a resident of Kinama neighbourhood.  The incident is the latest in a wave of violence which was sparked when President Pierre Nkurunziza's announced that he was running for a third term in office.

Grenade attacks rock central Bujumbura

At least eight people have been wounded in a series of grenade attacks in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura.  The blasts occurred in the city's central business district on Wednesday afternoon.  Police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye said two people have been arrested in connection with the attacks.

African Union scraps plans to send troops to Burundi

The African Union (AU) has abandoned plans to send a 5,000-strong peacekeeping force to Burundi to help stabilize the country.  President Pierre Nkurunziza has strongly opposed the force, forcing the AU to backtrack from earlier plans to send them with or without consent.  The AU's Commissioner for Peace and Security, Smail Chergui said: "We want dialogue with the government, and the summit decided to dispatch a high-level delegation."

Foreign journalists arrested in Burundi

Two foreign journalists have been arrested by police during raids in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura.  French reporter Jean Philippe Remy and Le Monde's Africa bureau chief Phil Moore were among a group of 17 people detained in the Jabe and Nyakabiga neighbourhoods.  "The two foreigners were arrested in the company of armed criminals," the security ministry said in a statement.  Earlier Amnesty said they had found five possible mass graves in the Buringa area, on the outskirts of the capital.

Three killed in grenade attack in Bujumbura

At least three people were killed in a grenade attack in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura, on Monday evening.  A police spokesman said the attack took place in the Bwiza neighbourhood, while witnesses claim the grenade was thrown from an assailant on a motorbike.

UN warns of law and order collapse in Burundi

The United Nations (UN) has warned that "a complete breakdown of law and order is just around the corner" in Burundi, while claiming that the security forces have carried out atrocities in the country.  In a statement it said that 13 cases of sexual violence had been documented, while there is also evidence that troops have kidnapped, tortured and killed dozens of young men.  Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, the UN high commissioner for human rights, also said that several mass graves had been discovered around the capital, Bujumbura, containing more than 100 bodies.

Rebels form anti-government coalition

Rebel groups in Burundi have joined forces to form the Republican Forces of Burundi in an attempt to forces President Pierre Nkurunziza from power.  Former army colonel Edward Nshimirimana said their goal is "to drive out Nkurunziza by force to restore the Arusha accord and democracy."  Last week the government rejected a 5,000 strong African Union peacekeeping force, which is intended to stop the escalating violence in the country.

Death toll rises after Burundi attacks

The death toll from violence in Friday's attacks in Burundi has risen to 87, according to the army.  Three military sites in Ngagara, Musaga and Mujejuru were attacked by heavily armed assailants.  The US Department of State has warned its citizens against all travel to the country.

Gunmen attack army posts in Bujumbura

Heavily armed gunmen have attacked two army posts in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura.  At least 12 of the assailants were killed in clashes with troops, while a further 20 were arrested following the attacks in the southern Musaga and northern Ngagara districts. Presidential spokesman Willy Nyamitwe said: "The situation is returning to normal as firearms are seized, many Sindumuja [armed opponents] assailants killed or arrested."

Seven killed in latest Bujumbura violence

At least seven people have been killed in the latest outbreak of violence in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura.  Witnesses said on Wednesday that police arrested five people and shot them dead in the Cibitoke district in the north of the city.  Two other deaths were reported on Tuesday night and on Wednesday morning.  Earlier the UN said more than 240 people had been killed in the country since President Nkurunziza announced his plans to run for a third-term in April.

Seven killed in latest Burundi violence

A police officer and at least six other people have been killed in the latest outbreak of violence to hit Burundi.  The officer was killed and four others wounded in overnight clashes with gunmen in the Nyakabiga district of Bujumbura, while police found the body of a man in the Jabe suburb.  Four decapitated bodies were also found in the Mutakura and Cibitoke areas of the city.  Elsewhere grenades were thrown at a bar in the town of Gatumba, near the border with DRC, killing at least two people.

UN official warns of 'civil war' in Burundi

A senior official from the United Nations (UN) has warned that Burundi could be heading towards a "full-fledged civil war".  UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein issued the warning after the government suspended 10 NGOs, including several dedicated to human rights. “It reduces the chances of success of the proposed inter-Burundian dialogue, a key step to moving the country away from the increasingly bloody path it has been following over the past few months", he said. On Sunday a senior army officer, Colonel Serges Kabanyura, was wounded in an ambush near the capital, Bujumbura.

Five killed in Burundi clashes

Another five people have been killed in the latest outbreak of violence in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura.  Gunfire was reported in the Ngagara neighbourhood as police tried to arrest around two dozen people on weapons charges on Saturday, and continued into Sunday in the Rohero suburb. "We heard lot of shootings, explosions and shelling. And it was a kind of exchange of fire between soldiers at the presidency and attackers. Mortars were also fired," a night watchman near the president's office told Reuters.

Nine people executed in Bujumbura bar attack

Gunmen executed nine people at a bar in Bujumbura on Saturday night as violence continues to rock Burundi's capital.  The owner of the bar in the southern district of Kanyosha said the gunmen appeared to be robbers, stealing money and valuables from the victims before shooting them.  Hours later hundreds of members of the security forces went door-to-door to disarm residents in the city, while a lockdown was enforced in the Mutakura neighbourhood.

Four dead in Bujumbura clashes

At least four people have been killed in the latest outbreak of violence in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura.  Clashes erupted in two districts of the city on Wednesday night, forcing hundreds of local residents to flee and resulting in the areas being temporarily sealed by security forces.  The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said almost 200 people have now been killed in violence since late April, when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced his intention to stand for a third term.

Police fire on funeral bus near Bujumbura

At least one person has been killed after police opened fire on a funeral bus near Burundi's capital, Bujumbura.  The vehicle was leading a funeral cortege when officers opened fire on it, although police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye told the AFP that the mourners were "armed criminals".  Witnesses also said that between 10-16 people died in the attack and insisted that no shots were fired from the bus.

Three dead in Bujumbura violence

At least three people have been killed and 15 others wounded in the latest out violence to hit Burundi's capital, Bujumbura.  On Monday police shot dead a "madman" who tried to attack officers with a machete, while hours later gunmen threw grenades at security forces, leading to a firefight during which a civilian died.  A police officer was also severly wounded in attack in the Kamenge district.  On Tuesday a the body of a civilian who had been shot multiple times was found dumped by the roadside in the capital.

Several dead in Bujumbura violence

At least seven people have been killed in the latest outbreak of violence in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura.  A television cameraman for state-run RTNB television, Christophe Nkezabahizi, and his young family were among the victims. "Police found him (Christophe) with his whole family at home (and) killed him alongside other people who were fleeing shootings," a neighbour told Reuters. Two police officers were also killed in a grenade attack in the Ngagara district on Tuesday.

Nine killed in Bujumbura bank raid

At least nine people have been killed during an armed robbery in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura. "The robbery targeted the BCB bank, Buyenzi branch, around 03:00. The armed bandits aboard a truck first killed a policeman guarding the bank and took away his gun, killed a bank client and then took two bags of money before driving away their truck while shooting," said Burundian Police Deputy-Spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye.  Seven of the robbers also died in the clashes with police.

Eight killed in Bujumbura shootings

At least eight people have been killed in shootings in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura.  Several explosions were also reported across the city in the latest outbreak of violence since a highly contentious presidential election, which was won by incumbent Pierre Nkurunziza.  Local residents told Reuters that police officers accompanied by members of the ruling CNDD-FDD's youth wing carried out the overnight killings.

Burundi accuses Rwanda of training rebels

Burundi's government has accused neighbouring Rwanda of training rebels and helping them carry out cross-border attacks. "We also have extensive information about recruitments in refugee camps, especially in Mahama refugee camp, where refugees are taken for military training, and some of the trainers are Rwandans," Foreign Minister Alain Nyamitwe told the BBC.  Around 70,000 Burundians are currently living in refugee camps in Rwanda after fleeing political violence earlier this year.

Opposition official shot dead in Muramvya

Unidentified gunmen have shot dead an opposition party official in Burundi's Muramvya province.  Jean Baptiste Nsengiyumva, the head off the local MSD party, was killed on Tuesday night when assailants opened fire on him at his house. "We strongly condemn this assassination aimed at disturbing security in the province. We ask the population to strengthen security in their neighborhoods. We also call on those who illegally possess arms to hand them over," said Muramvya Governor Emmanuel Niyungeko.

Army chief General Niyongabo survives assassination attempt

Burundi's army chief of staff has survived an assassination attempt on a busy road in Bujumbura. General Prime Niyongabo was travelling to his office in the morning when armed men attacked his motorcade. The gunmen were reportedly armed with guns and rockets. A military source has stated that three bodyguards and one of the attackers were killed, and four of the gunmen were captured. Two of the captured gunmen were wounded. A senior police source has said that the attackers were wearing military uniforms and were travelling in a military vehicle. 

Opposition spokesman shot dead

The spokesman for a party in Burundi opposed to President Pierre Nkurunziza's third term has been shot head in Bujumbura. Patrice Gahungu, from the Union for Peace and Development (UPD) was killed by unidentified gunmen as he drove home late on Monday. The leader of the same party, Zedi Feruzi, was killed in May. 

Two killed in Bujumbura clashes

Two people have been killed and four police officers wounded in the latest outbreak of unrest in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura.  Grenade explosions and gunshots were reported in the Jabe, Nyakabiga and Musaga districts of the city where much of the anti-government protests have taken place.

Police tortured anti-Nkurunziza protesters

Burundi's security forces have tortured suspected opponents of President Pierre Nkurunziza's third-term bid, Amnesty International has said. The rights group has given details of how people arrested for allegedly taking part in demonstrations have been mistreated to extract information. The government has not yet responded. Amnesty International (AI) alleges that some were beaten with iron bars and burnt with acid. One man said that he had a five-litre container full of sand tied to his testicles. Another says that he revealed the names of other demonstrators after he was deprived of sleep and threatened with violence. AI has called for the beatings and torture to stop and wants an "independent and impartial investigation".

Ex-Army chief Col Jean Bikomagu shot dead in Burundi

The former head of Burindi's army has been shot dead outside his home in the capital Bujambura. Colonel Jean Bikomagu, who led the armed forces during the country's civil war, was gunned down as he drove through the gates of his house. His daughter was badly injured in the attack. 

Official killed in third high-profile attack in three days

Come Harerimana was attacked and killed while travelling near Bujumbura. He was ambushed by stone-throwing crowds, pulled from his motorcycle and shot. He died immediately. As a local leader of Burundi's ruling party, Harerimana was president of the CNDD FDD chapter in Kanyosha district. This is the third high-profile attack in as many days. 

Human rights activist seriously injured in shooting

A prominant human rights activist has been shot and seriously wounded by gunmen on motorbikes. Pierre Claver Mbonimpa was attacked in the capital of Bujumbura. He was going home when a group of motorcyclists encircled him and started shooting at him. Mr Mbonimpa is believed to be one of the few members of Burundi's civil society opposed to the president who has not fled the country. He was an outspoken critic of President Pierre Nkurunziza's controversial bid for a third term in office, which many say violates the constitution. Mr Mbonimpura is now in intensive care.

Presidential aide killed in attack

General Adolphe Nshimirimana, a close aide of President Pierre Nkurunziza, has been killed in an attack on his car in the capital, Bujumbura. He was a formed army chief of staff and intelligence chief, and was reportedly in charge of the President's personal security, and had been central in cracking down on protests. Attackers targeted his car in the Kamenge district with machine guns and rocket launchers. Witnesses said that four men in military fatigues has sprayed the car with bullets.

President Nkurunziza wins third term

President Pierre Nkurunziza has been elected for a controversial third term, despite months of political unrest in the country.  Mr Nkurunziza took nearly 70 percent of the vote in last week's polls, with opposition leader Agathon Rwasa receiving 19 percent despite a public boycott.  At least 70 people were killed in pre-election violence after Mr Nkurunziza announced his plans to run for a third term back in April, which opponents said was illegal due to a two term limit in the constitution.

Two killed as polls open in Burundi

At least two people were killed as violence erupted in Bujumbura on Monday night. Several explosions and heavy gunfire was reported in the city ahead of the controversial presidential elections, which incumbent Pierre Nkurunziza is widely expected to win to secure a third term. 

Four dead in Ngozi grenade attacks

At least four people have been killed and 38 others were wounded in a grenade attack in northern Burundi.  Assailants threw two devices at a bar in Ngozi, the hometown of President Pierre Nkurunziza.  The incident follows similar attacks in the capital, Bujumbura, over the weekend and one week before presidential elections.

Burundi opposition rejects election date

Burundi's opposition has rejected proposals by the electoral commission to hold the presidential polls on 15 July.  Opposition leader Charles Nditije has demanded that a new independent electoral commission be created after two of its five members resigned and fled to Rwanda. "If things remain as they are, we consider that it will be a masquerade, a parody of elections," Nditije said.

Burundi agrees to delay elections amid protests

Burundi's government has agreed to postpone parliamentary and presidential elections that were due to take place this month. "The June 5 local and parliamentary elections are postponed until another date that is unknown. The authorized persons will announce it in hours, in days ahead," electoral body CENI president Pierre Claver Ndayicariye said in a broadcast on state television.   More than 30 people have been killed and thousands more displaced in anti-government protests since President Pierre Nkurunziza's announced that he would stand for a third term in office.

Protesters rally in Bujumbura as opposition calls for mass rally

Protesters have gathered in the Nyakabiga area of the capital, Bujumbura, after opposition leaders called for a mass anti-government rally on Tuesday.  Burundi's police have fired tear gas at houses in the area, while gunfire has also been reported.  Yesterday the government said it was considering a request form the East African Community to delay the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections.

East Africa leaders calls on Burundi to delay elections

East African Community (EAC) leaders have met in Tanzania to call on Burundi to postpone upcoming elections. "The summit, concerned at the impasse in Burundi, strongly calls for a long postponement of the elections not less than a month and a half," the EAC said in a statement read out by its secretary general Richard Sezibera. The group also called on an end to the violence which was sparked by President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision to stand for a third term in office.

Grenade attack hit Bujumbura

A child has been wounded after a grenade exploded near a Kenyan bank in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura.  The device was thrown under a car at the KCBank in the centre of the city on Friday afternoon.  Elsewhere a protester has been killed in the latest anti-government clashes with police in the Buterere suburb.

Opposition calls off peace talks as unrest continues

Burundi's opposition has boycotted peace talks with the government over the killing of an opposition leader.  Zedi Feruzi, who led the small UPD party, was shot dead in the capital, Bujumbura, on Saturday.  Meanwhile another protester has been killed at a demonstration in the southern town of Muyange in Bururi province - countering claims by President Nkurunziza that the unrest is confined to the capital and that there is "peace and security in 99.9 percent of the country".

Opposition leader shot dead in Burundi

An opposition leader and his bodyguard have been shot dead by gunmen in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura.  Zedi Feruzi, head of the UPD party, was killed in the Ngagara district of the city on Saturday.  On Friday two people were killed in a grenade attack in the city, while more than 100,000 people have now fled to neighbouring countries following weeks of anti-government unrest.

Two protesters shot dead in Bujumbura

Two protesters have been shot dead in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura, as anti-government demonstrations continue.  One person was shot dead in the Ngagara neighbourhood, while another died in the Musuga area of the city.  The latest deaths bring the total number killed to 18 since the protests against President Pierre Nkurunziza began three weeks ago.

Security forces battle protesters as president delays elections

Burundi's security forces have clashed with protesters in the capital, Bujumbura, in the latest outbreak of unrest in the country.  Troops fired live rounds and tear gas during street battles, while protesters set up roadblocks across the city.  According to witnesses one soldier was accidentally shot dead by a police officer in the Nyakabiga district.  The latest violence comes after President Pierre Nkurunziza said local and parliamentary elections scheduled for 26 May would now take place on 2 June.

President Nkurunziza sacks key ministers amid unrest

Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza has sacked his defence and foreign ministers following last week's failed coup.  Mr Nkurunziza did not specify the reasons behind his decision, with one spokesman saying "the president does not have to explain".  On Monday heavily armed soldiers were deployed in the capital, Bujumbura, in a bid to contain further political unrest.

President Nkurunziza warns of al-Shabaab threat

Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza has warned that the country faces a threat from al-Shabaab in his first public appearance since a failed coup against him. "We are very preoccupied by al-Shabaab's well-known attack. You know that Burundi has contributed to sending troops to Somalia so we came here to contact our friends and colleagues here in Kenya as well as in Uganda," Nkurunziza said.   He also added that parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for May could be delayed following the recent unrest, while activists are planning more protests against him on Monday.

Three coup leaders arrested in Burundi

Three leaders of a failed coup against President Pierre Nkurunziza have been arrested in Burundi.  Former Defence Minister Cyrille Ndayirukiye was arrested on Friday along with an army general and a police general.  Major-General Godefroid Niyombare, who led the coup, is "still on the run" according to a presidential spokesman.  President Nkurunziza has returned to the country from Tanzania and is expected to make an announcement later today.

Rivals soldiers clash in Bujumbura

Heavy fighting between rival soldiers has been reported in Burundi's capital, Bujumbura, following yesterday's attempted coup.  Army Chief of Staff General Prime Niyongabo has rebuked the claim by coup leader Major General Godefroid Niyombare that the president had been deposed.  The fiercest clashes have been reported around the state radio and TV compound, with both sides competing for control of communications in the country.  Roadblocks are in place across the city and the streets are mainly empty of non-military vehicles.

Army general in attempted coup against President Nkurunziza

An army general claims to have dismissed President Pierre Nkurunziza in an attempted coup. Maj Gen Godefroid Niyombareh said that a national salvation committee has been created to govern the country, although it is not clear how much support he has. "The masses vigorously and tenaciously reject President Nkurunziza's third-term mandate... President Pierre Nkurunziza has been relieved of his duties. The government is overthrown," he said in a radio broadcast. Troops have also surrounded the state broadcaster in the capital, Bujumbura, and sealed off the road outside.

Police fire on protesters in Burundi

Police have fired live rounds and tear gas at protesters in a suburb of the capital, Bujumbura.  At least one person died in the unrest, while two others died overnight when a grenade exploded.  Leaders of the East African Community - Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi - are holding an emergency meeting in Tanzania on Wednesday to discuss the ongoing violence in the country.  More than 20 people have now been killed in anti-government protests while some 50,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries.

President Nkurunziza says third-term will be his last

Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza has vowed not to run for the fourth-term if he is re-elected in the upcoming elections. “If the people of Burundi put their trust in us, it will be the last mandate I seek, as determined by the constitutional court,” Nkurunziza said in a televised speech on Wednesday. He called for an immediate end to the protests so that elections can be held in June. So far 13 people have been killed in anti-government protests.

Three killed in Burundi as protests continue

The Red Cross said at least three people have been killed and more than 45 others wounded as protests against President Pierre Nkurunziza continue for a second week.  The latest unrest brings the total number killed to 12, while more than 20,000 have fled to neighbouring countries to escape the mounting violence.  On Tuesday Burundi's constitutional court approved Mr Nkurunziza's bid for a third-term in office, despite a two-term limit in the constitution.

Deadly protests continue for third day in Burundi

A wave of deadly anti-government protests have been reported for a third consecutive day in Burundi.  The BBC reported that the phone lines of several private radio stations have been cut as the government attempts to stop the protests spreading across the country.  They have also deployed large numbers of police and troops on to the streets to break up any demonstrations. UN Secretary-General, Ban ki-Moon, has dispatched his Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region, Said Djinnit to Burundi for consultations with President Nkurunziza and other government authorities, political party leaders and members of the diplomatic community.

Opposition protests continue in Burundi

Opposition protests are continuing in Burundi over President's Pierre Nkurunziza's decision to run for a third-term in office.  Riot police used tear gas during a rally in the town of Cibitoke, north of the capital Bujumbura.  On Sunday at least four people died in violent clashes, while the government also halted nationwide broadcasts by Burundi’s three main independent radio stations which have been accused of encouraging an “uprising”.

Two killed in anti-government protests

At least two people have been killed in violent protests against President Pierre Nkurunziza in Burundi.  Police used water canons, tear gas and live bullets to disperse crowds in the capital, Bujumbura. The ruling CNDD-FDD party nominated Nkurunziza as its presidential candidate on Saturday, prompting hundreds of civil society groups to condemn the move as a "coup" against the constitution.

President vows to run for third term despite protests

Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza has declared the he will run for a third term in office despite ongoing protests by the opposition.  The ruling CNDD-FDD party officially designated Mr Nkurunziza as their candidate during a special congress on Saturday morning.  There is growing tension in the country and thousands of people have fled to neighbouring Rwanda and DR Congo in recent weeks.

Police fire tear gas during anti-government protest

Burundi's police have fired tear gas and water cannons during the latest anti-government protest in the capital, Bujumbura.  The ongoing unrest is being led the country's opposition, who are opposed to President Pierre Nkurunziza's plans to run for a third term. "The police used brutality to disperse peaceful protesters, but this will not discourage us. We will continue the struggle," said Chauvineau Mugwingizo, a spokesman for the five opposition groups which had called the protest.

Opposition plans protests in Bujumbura

Burundi's opposition has announced plans to stage a protest against the proposed third term candidacy of President Pierre Nkurunziza on 15 April.  Dissenting members of the ruling CNDD-FDD party are also expected to take part in the rally.  Around 4,000 people have fled to neighbouring Rwanda in recent weeks over fears that the country might descend into violence ahead of elections in June.

Landslides kill 18 in Burundi

At least 18 people have been killed and a further 10 others are missing after torrential rain caused landslides in Burundi.  Local officials said rescue teams are searching for survivors in the Bujumbura district, around 35km south of the capital.

Journalists and activists claim growing harassment in Burundi

Journalists and civil society activists claim they are increasingly being harassed and threatened in Burundi ahead of the country's presidential elections.  Several high-profile human rights activists and reporters have been arrested, including the director of the independent African Public Radio (RPA), Bob Rugurika.  The rising tensions come amid speculation that President Pierre Nkurunziza will ignore the country's two-term limit and cling to power for another five years.

Wife of opposition leader shot in Burundi

The wife of Burundi's opposition has been shot and wounded in the capital, Bujumbura.  Annonciate Haberisoni was at a hair salon in the city when gunmen opened fire on her.  Her husband, Agathon Rwasa, accused the government of being behind the attack.

Three ruling party activists shot dead in eastern Burundi

Three ruling party activists have been shot dead in a bar in eastern Burundi.  According to local officials five gunmen carried out the attack at a bar in the eastern Gisuru region before torching a nearby office belonging to the ruling CNDD-FDD party.  The incident comes days after clashes between the army and rebels left more than 100 people dead.

Burundi clashes leave 100 dead

At least 100 people have been killed in clashes between rebel fighters and security forces in Cibitoke province. An army spokesman said fighters from an unidentified rebel group had crossed into the country from neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). "After five days of non-stop military operations, the armed group which attacked Burundi has been wiped out by our security forces" said an army general.

Three Italian nuns killed in Burundi attack

Three elderly Italian nuns have been killed in an attack at their convent in a parish in the capital, Bujumbura.  Local police said that two people had been detained for questioning after the bodies of Lucia Pulici, Olga Raschietti and Bernadetta Boggian were found over the weekend.  Father Mario Pulicini, who is responsible for the parish, said "it is very difficult to know the reason behind the killing, but nothing can justify it".


Dozens killed in Burundi flooding

At least 50 people have been killed and dozens more wounded in flooding and landslides near Burundi's capital, Bujumbura.  A powerful storm brought several days of torrential rain to the city, with the northern district of Buterere particularly badly hit.  The government has declared two days of national mourning.

Burundi approves controversial new media law

Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza has approved a controversial new media law which critics say severely limits press freedom in the country.  Reporters Without Borders said that the law, which forbids all reporting deemed to be a threat to national security or the economy, marks a "black day for freedom of information."

Three killed in Burundi ambush

At least three people, including one soldier, have been killed in an ambush on the road between Bujumbura and Citiboke.  The attackers, who were reportedly wearing military uniforms, managed to escape from the scene.

Burundi Data Sheet

8.75 million
Major Religion/s:
International dialing code:
International dialing prefix:
Emergency services:
None currently in operation
Ohter Major Cities:
Rwanda, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo