Willy Nyamitwe, Burundi’s senior presidential adviser has blamed insurgents for creating fake chaos in the capital, Bujumbura.
According to Nyamitwe insurgents opposing the current government have “adopted a strategy” that involves shooting at night in different areas in the capital in order to make it feel as if “all [of] Burundi is on fire”. He stated that Bujumbura is a small city therefore enabling the sounds of gun shots to travel easily. He also detailed that Burundi is “dealing with a lot of [untruths] that are being spread through social media”.
He went on to deny that any shootings happened near the presidential palace, even though media reports states that five people had been killed in the area.
Tensions are continuing to rapidly rise in the country forcing people to leave and seek refuge in neighbouring Tanzania. IOL reported that over 110 000 refugees have left Burundi to live in overloaded camps in Tanzania. They reported that six aid agencies, including HelpAge International, Oxfam and Save the Children gave a statement in which they warned of the spread of disease in the camps due to the cramped conditions.
“Many people are still living in overcrowded mass shelters months after their arrival, where wet floors and cramped conditions mean that the risk of respiratory infections and waterborne diseases is high,” the joint statement said.
“Reports of escalating political instability inside Burundi have prompted fears of a new exodus of refugees into neighbouring countries, which would push the current limits of the camps in western Tanzania to breaking point,” the statement continued.
Fears of the rising violence in the country is also causing foreigners who live and work in Burundi to leave. On November 14 Belgium told its citizens to leave the country due to the rise in violence.
The Belgian foreign ministry said in a statement; “We advise Belgians who are currently in Burundi and whose presence is not essential to leave the country as soon as normal measures allow.”
The ruling party (CNDD-FDD) has blamed Belgium, the former colonial power, for supporting groups who oppose the current government.
In a statement made by CNDD-FDD they attributed the growth in violence to the Belgians; “The Belgians did not only sow divisions in the hearts of Burundians… but on top of that they would whip Burundians in front of their families.”