Burundi takes "new step towards outright civil war"

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Bujumbura, the capital of Burundi, has been rocked by political violence for months. Photo: Phil Moore/IRIN

Burundi has taken what the UN has called a "new step towards outright civil war".

It follows the deaths of dozens of people on Friday who were killed in attacks against several military camps in the capital Bujumbura and the heavy fighting that followed.

Matthew Wells has more details.

Burundi has been plagued by political conflict since April when the country’s president announced he would seek a third term in office.

More than 200,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries and hundreds more have been killed.

On Friday following the latest attacks, security forces reportedly carried out house searches in Bujumbura.  

They arrested hundreds of young men, allegedly summarily executing a number of them.

Cécile Pouilly is a Spokesperson for the UN human rights office.

"With this latest series of bloody events, the country seems to have taken a new step towards outright civil war and tensions are now at bursting point in Bujumbura."

Last month the UN Security Council heard that the potential for atrocity crimes and genocide, similar to Rwanda in 1994, was growing.

Matthew Wells, United Nations

Duration: 45″

 

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