Burundi’s police said they shot a gunman and arrested five others in a southern district of the capital, the latest violence in a more than yearlong political crisis.
The police and army are continuing to search Bujumbura’s Musaga neighborhood, spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye told reporters Wednesday in the city.
SOS Medias Burundi, a network of local journalists, said on its Facebook page that parts of Musaga were under lockdown since early Wednesday. Heavy gunfire and explosions were heard from the district the previous night, it said, citing residents.
The landlocked East African nation has been rocked by unrest that’s left more than 470 people dead since April 2015, when President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to stand for re-election, a move his opponents said was unconstitutional.
Nkurunziza gave the armed wing of his opponents in the Southern province 15 days to surrender and promised to fight them mercilessly if they defied the call, a thing which seemed to have normalized violence.
“Give phone calls to your brothers who are members of armed groups and tell them that we came here. We gave them 15 days only to surrender to security forces. Beyond the 15 days, we will fight them mercilessly,” Nkurunziza told a listening crowd.
Police say it has commenced a crackdown on all gun welding men especially in areas within the proximity of Bujumbura
BLOOMBERG. Additional reporting by East Africa Daily