April 29 - May 6, 2015
Compiled by Berta Fürstová
- Number of Burundian refugees soared to 24,000; FDLR reportedly joining Imbonerakure in persecuting civilians; violent protests in Bujumbura
Private but pro-government newspapers
New Times, 27th April 2015
“‘Number of Burundian refugees soar to 20,000” by James Karuhanga
- Following the unrest that escalated over the weekend, the number of refugees that have crossed into Rwanda has since increased to over 20,000, according to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs.
- The riots burst out after the ruling party CNDD/FDD confirmed President Pierre Nkurunziza as its candidate for the forthcoming presidential election. During riots a police officer and a rioter were shot dead, media reports said.
- Some Rwandans have approached the Rwandan Embassy in Burundi seeking papers to facilitate their return home. There is an estimated 6,000 documented Rwandans living in Burundi.
New Times, 28th April 2015
“‘Govt scales up emergency relief operations as more Burundian refugees arrive” by James Karuhanga
- On April 27, up to 23,000 Burundians had crossed into Rwanda. At least six people are reported to have lost their lives in the Burundian capital Bujumbura in violent clashes with police.
New Times, 29th April 2015
“‘Tension high in Burundi as bloody riots continue” by James Karuhanga
- Violence in Burundi’s capital Bujumbura continue. A Burundian journalist who was forced to go into hiding after a tip that he was on Imbonerakure’s wanted list, narrated the situation on the ground.
- “Some journalists have been beaten up… At least five radio stations have been denied a chance to broadcast beyond Bujumbura and RPA, a private radio station whose manager was in jail earlier this year, was ordered shut,” the journalist said.
- Access to Internet is also limited across the capital.
- Defence minister Pontien Gaciyubwenge announced that the armed forces will remain neutral in the ongoing violent protests.
- Unconfirmed reports indicate that elements of the FDLR have joined Imbonerakure in persecuting civilians. Agence Bujumbura News published pictures of purported members of the “Interahamwe militia” captured by protestors in Bujumbura, as well as in Cibitoke, in north-western Burundi.
- Reports claim FDLR elements are under the patronage of Burundi’s police force and were actively participating in attempts to suppress protests in the country.
New Times, 30th April 2015
“‘Burundi blocks social media sites” by Edwin Musoni
- Social Media has been inaccessible in Burundi due to ongoing protests against the re-election bid of the incumbent President, Pierre Nkurunziza.
- The Telcoms regulator, Agence de Régulation et de Contrôle des Telecoms, reportedly ordered mobile phone operators to block certain websites and instant messaging services.
- The blocking of social media came into force hardly a day after three radio stations were either banned or had their reach limited to the capital only.
New Times, 3rd May 2015
“‘EAC urges calm in Burundi as more refugees stream into Rwanda” by James Karuhanga
- The Secretary General of the East African Community (EAC) Dr. Richard Sezibera reminded political actors in Burundi of the code of good conduct which they signed on March 9, 2015 committing to refrain from violence during elections.
- On May 1, Rwandan government had registered 24,029 refugees from Burundi.