On Sunday, the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, strongly condemned the assassination of Colonel (rtd.) Jean Bikomagu, former Chief of Army Staff, on 15 August 2015 in Bujumbura, Burundi.
She presented the AU’s sincere condolences to the family of the deceased and wishes speedy recovery to his daughter who was injured during the attack.
The Chairperson of the Commission stresses that this despicable act and the numerous other acts of violence recorded in recent months illustrate once again the seriousness of the situation prevailing in Burundi and the potential of further escalation, with catastrophic consequences both for the country itself and for the region as a whole.
“In this context, she reaffirms the AU’s total rejection of violence and condemns all abuses of human rights and other violations of civil liberties.”
“She calls for a transparent and credible investigation to identify the perpetrators of the murders and swiftly bring them to justice,” read a statement from AU headquarters.
Zuma stressed the need for dialogue and consensus to find a peaceful and lasting solution to the current crisis and preserve the significant gains achieved thanks to the 2000 Arusha Agreement for Peace and Reconciliation in Burundi and the 2003 Comprehensive Ceasefire Agreement.
She reiterated the AU’s call to the Burundian stakeholders, to exercise utmost restraint and demonstrate conciliatory spirit at this critical juncture in the history of their country.
“In this regard, the AU, in collaboration with other international actors, will continue to extend full support to the mediation efforts led by President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda on behalf of the East African Community (EAC).”
Museveni was chosen to mediate Burundi crisis before the elections but Nkurunziza ignored the meetings leading to their collapse.
Statement Attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Burundi
On Monday, the Secretary-General condemns the assassination of Colonel Jean Bikomagu, former Army Chief of Staff, by unknown assailants in Bujumbura on 15 August.
He conveyed his condolences to the family of the deceased.
“The Secretary-General is troubled by the trend of politically-motivated violence in Burundi.”
He welcomed the government’s decision to carry out investigations, and arrests and trials of the perpetrators behind the recent killings.
The Secretary-General reiterates his calls to all Burundians to resume an inclusive dialogue without delay to peacefully settle their differences.
He also reiterated the commitment of the United Nations to support the efforts aimed at consolidating peace and stability in Burundi.
The European Union in a statement said violence is never justifiable and is making the condition worse.
France also called for an immediate halt to the violence and urged all parties to resume their dialogue in order to achieve a lasting political solution to the crisis.
It said those responsible must be brought to justice.