Burundi ex-army chief Col Bikomagu shot dead


Colonel Jean Bikomagu

A former Burundi army commander, Colonel Jean Bikomagu, has been assassinated in the capital Bujumbura.

Colonel Bikomagu is a former head of Burundi army during its 13-year civil war.

Bikomagu, who was appointed army chief of staff by H.E. Ndadaye during the civil war, was shot dead on his way back from Saturday morning church service, according to Burundi sources.

His home is located in Kabondo, a southern district of the capital Bujumbura.

“Two men on a motorcycle came to the gate of his home when he was waiting to be opened to him. And there, one of the individuals fired. His daughter was slightly injured,” says a family member.

His daughter was admitted.

There are reports that plain-clothed and uniformed agents are attempting to force their way into a hospital where his wounded daughter is being treated.

Bikomagu was a key figure in the former Tutsi-dominated army in Buyoya’s regime.

Officials in Pierre Nkurunziza’s government accused Bikomagu of committing genocide two days ago.

Col. Bikomagu has been retired from army and politics for last 20 years, unlike Gen Adolphe Nshimirimana making his revenge assassination, highly symbolic, argues critic, Thierry Uwamahoro.

He says the assassinations of Lt. Gen. Adolphe and Rtd. Col. Bikomagu remind Burundians why the Arusha Accord shoulld never have been violated.

“We are re-fighting an old war.”

7 people kidnapped

Two vehicles fell in an ambush last night on Bujumbura -Rugombo road common Gihanga and seven people who were on board these vehicles have been kidnapped.

Isanganiro says they are being held by armed military and police that vanished in the nature reserve of Rukoko with their victims.

The incident happened Friday night involving a dozen armed men with rifles.

Three of the victims were driving a lorry truck carrying bananas which was stopped first.

Another vehicle, a taxi, coming from Bujumbura, was also stopped and four passengers kidnapped.

One of the survivors (the taxi driver), told Isanganiro that the seven were first forced to give up their phones and money they had in their pockets before being conducted into the nature reserve Rukoko.

Until Saturday morning, the Fuso filled with banana and pineapple was still parked at the scene of the ambush.

The taxi was recovered by a driver who was hiding near the scene of the incident.

An army unit was dispatched from Bujumbura hours later engaging the kidnappers in rounds of gunfire but the victims were never recovered.

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