Article written

  • on 21.12.2015
  • at 11:50 AM
  • by Kimberley Evans

Has Burundi reached the tipping point already? 0

Alarm about Burundi has been rising and falling. In fits and starts.

But now the question following the attacks on military encampments last weekend: Has a tipping point been reached?

There seems to have been complicity within the camps — pointing yet again to fractures within the military that are now apparently evident even between Burundian peacekeepers in both the Central African Republic and Somalia.

The section of the political opposition that is armed seems to have been involved — it is still widely rumoured, despite Rwanda’s denials, to have been trained in that country. The objective seems to have been to obtain arms from within the camps.

The number of deaths has yet to be ascertained but all sources indicate just under 100. That was during the attacks themselves.

Political leeway

Where the numbers are still adding up are in the state crackdown in so-called opposition neighbourhoods. Bodies and bodies and bodies. Every day.

All young men in Bujumbura are now cautious in their movements around town as the police seize the political leeway given to also extort — pointing yet again to an ever-increasing lack of control.

There is a steady exodus from the country — even as reports indicate that the ruling political party’s militia, the Imbonerakure, are now standing guard along the borders.

This past week, there were many calls to prevent further deterioration.

Even in Kenya — parochial as we are — ordinary citizens came out to demand action by our state, by the region.

There were calls for the lead mediator, Yoweri Museveni, to step down. For the East African Community to hand over the mandate for mediation to the AU.

Continue reading on The East African
by L. Muthoni Wanyeki
Photo credits Getty Images

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