At least three people have been killed and several others injured in gun and grenade attacks near Burundi’s capital of Bujumbura, a day before the visit of the UN chief trying to end the months-old political crisis in the African country.
Celestin Singirankabo, the head of Gisozi district in Mwaro Province, said one of the incidents occurred late on Sunday in Kiyange village, about 50 Kilometers (30 miles) east of the country’s capital, Bujumbura.
“It was around 8.00 p.m. last night when gunmen entered in a bar and opened fire, killing two people while two others were injured and were admitted in a nearby hospital,” he said.
Singirankabo added that in the same area soldiers repulsed another armed group plotting to carry out terror attacks.
In a separate development, one person was killed and another wounded in a grenade attack on Monday morning at a Bujumbura market, said a local deputy police spokesman.
No group or individual has so far claimed responsibility for the deadly attacks.
This is while UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is scheduled to arrive in Bujumbura from New York on Tuesday to hold talks with Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza to help halt the violence in the east African country.
“This is a very important visit because we hope the UN secretary general will bring his weight to bear on President Pierre Nkurunziza so he finally accepts an inclusive and unconditional dialogue with his opponents,” a UN official told AFP.
The UN has warned on several occasions that Burundi is on the brink of a civil war. The country plunged into turmoil in late April 2015 when Nkurunziza announced his decision to run for a third consecutive five-year term, a move which was denounced as contrary to the country’s constitution and a 2006 peace deal that ended 13 years of civil war. Nkurunziza was reelected in July elections anyway.
According to the UN, at least 400 people have been killed, while 240,000 others have fled Burundi since April 26, 2015 due to the political crisis plaguing the African state.