Burundi presidential aide wounded in assassination bid

AP News
Posted: Nov 29, 2016 7:25 AM

BUJUMBURA, Burundi (AP) — A presidential adviser in Burundi was wounded in an assassination attempt late Monday, officials said, in the latest attack targeting allies of the country's embattled president.

Willy Nyamitwe, a presidential adviser in charge of communications, was at his home northwest of the capital, Bujumbura, when armed men attacked him, Bonfort Ndoreraho, chief of police in the capital Bujumbura, said Tuesday.

Ndoreraho said one policeman in Nyamitwe's security detail was killed and another was wounded, while Nyamitwe himself was wounded in the hand.

Foreign Minister Alain Aime Nyamitwe said on Twitter late Monday that Nyamitwe, who is his brother, "survived another assassination attempt."

Authorities believe the government of neighboring Rwanda's was behind the attack on Nyamitwe, Pierre Nkurikiye, a police spokesman, said Tuesday.

The Burundian government has persistently accused Rwanda of training and arming insurgents opposed to Nkurunziza, charges Rwanda denies.

Sporadic political violence has plagued Burundi since April 2015, when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he would seek a third term amid significant opposition. Nkurunziza eventually won re-election in polls criticized by the U.S. and rights groups for not being free and fair.

Since the elections, hundreds of people have been killed in ongoing violence and the U.N. is investigating reports of extra-judicial killings, torture and rape.

Burundi's security agencies are blamed for carrying out most of the killings, although some of the victims have been allies of the president.

In August 2015, Lt. Gen. Adolphe Nshimirimana, a former intelligence chief who was key ally of the president's, was killed in a rocket attack in Bujumbura.