Burundi killings “are evidence of spiralling violence”

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Relatives mourn a student killed in the Burundian capital Bujumbura. Photo: Phil Moore/IRIN

In Burundi, an increasing number of attacks against high-level officials has been condemned by the UN human rights chief.

The reaction from Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein follows Monday's assassination of Brigadier General Athanase Kararuza and his wife, and an attempt on the life of government minister Martin Nivyabandi a day earlier.

Violence continues to grip the country following President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision to stand for a controversial third term in office.

Here's Daniel Johnson in Geneva

For UN Human Rights Office OHCHR, the latest attacks are evidence of spiralling violence in Burundi.

Some 31 people have been killed so far in April, compared with a total of nine individuals in the previous month.

Here's Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein:

“The High Commissioner strongly condemns these attacks. They must be properly investigated, the killers must be arrested and brought before the law…The great majority of these attacks were carried out by unidentified armed men."

In the latest attack, General Kararuza and his wife reportedly died immediately, and their daughter was injured.

In a statement, High Commissioner Zeid said that he feared the increasing number of targeted assassinations would exacerbate the "spiral of violence and unrest" in Burundi.

Ahead of the upcoming talks in Arusha, Tanzania, Zeid encouraged all parties to engage in a meaningful dialogue to improve the human rights situation and solve the ongoing political crisis.

Daniel  Johnson, United Nations, Geneva

Duration: 1'04"

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