Peace snapped in Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi, over the killing Sunday of an army general Lt. Gen. Adolphe Nshimirimana. The slain general was a loyalists of President Pierre Nkurunziza, who is facing legitimacy problem spurred by his last month’s election for a third term against popular wish. Nkurunziza said he ordered the police to find the killers of his senior adviser for internal security (Nshimirimana) within 10 days. Nshimirimana supported Nkurunziza’s third term election and was considered untouchable until his death in a drive-by shooting on Sunday. According to Associated Press report, Carina Tertsakian, who researches Burundi for Human Rights Watch, described Nshimirimana as “one of the key hardliners around the president”.
“Despite or perhaps because of his brutal reputation, Adolphe was generally seen as untouchable, with no one in a position of power daring, or even suggesting, holding him to account,” she said.
Human Rights Watch has received frequent allegations that he was behind many incidents of killing, torture, arrests of suspected opponents and other abuses over the past several years, she said.
Nshimirimana, a former army chief of staff as well as head of the intelligence services, is believed to have helped to defeat an attempted coup against Nkurunziza in May.
The U.S. has condemned the killing and is urging restraint.