Burundi journalist attacked, stabbed in Uganda


A Burundian journalist living in exile in Uganda, was on Sunday injured following an attack by unknown people.

He was severely beaten and stabbed, according to Kenya Correspondents Association, an organisation that works to provide a platform for media correspondents to interact, build solidarity and enhance their profile in the media industry in Kenya.

According to KCA, Ntaconayigize Boaz of Radio Bonesha was attacked by people, two Burundians and two Ugandans over the weekend.

Inzamba radio based in Kigali also carried a similar story.

There are nearly 100 Burundi journalists in exile, most of them in Kigali, Rwanda. At least three are in Kenya. A number are in Uganda, Tanzania and Belgium.

Government agents routinely trail the exiled journalists and other citizens who have fled the country since last year when violence broke out in the country following the insistence by President Pierre Njurunziza to run for a third term in violation of the constitution.

Threats at home

Burundian journalists, those of the capital and the interior of the country are increasingly threatened in their physical integrity.

SOS Media reports Jean Bigirimana, a journalist working with Iwacu News was abducted days ago.

Bigirimana who corresponds for Iwacu in the Great Lakes Region, was in Bugarama (Muramvya Province) in the centre of the country when he suddenly disappeared.

At the beginning of this week, the journalist Nestor Ndayitwayeko (also a Great Lakes Region correspondent) was threatened and beaten up by an officer of the Burundian Police (Gnp) in a Rutana bar.

“Why don’t you join your colleagues in Rwanda?” the cop reportedly asked the journalist.

“Move along, there’s nothing to see, nothing to say, nothing to report. Because Burundi is in peace,” the cop said as he kicked the journalist.

Julien Barinzigo, a correspondent of Oximity news, an online magazine has been behind bars for the last 47 days for “insulting the head of state”.

The High Court of Bujumbura met last Monday to rule on his pre-trial detention.

His lawyer pleaded the innocence and asked for a release to no avail.

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