Burundi government launches forced weapons disarmament of civilians after violence

Nov 11, 2015 Burundi’s security minister Alain Guillaume Bunyoni recently announced the launch of a forced weapons disarmament process in the country, following months of violence and civil unrest.

According to reports, the widespread unrest, which has displaced thousands, started in April when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced his plans stand for a third term in office.

In response to this, the government has launched a door-to-door search to confiscate illegal firearms in an effort to end the violence in the country.

Speaking during the announcement, Alain Guillome, Burundi’s National Security Minister said:

“Today we want to bring to an end to this trouble. Those people have been giving you sleepless nights. When they see the police they throw grenades at them. When they see the army they shoot them. If we find them, we will not spare them. We will deal with them in the best way we know how,”

The announcement came a day after an attack on a bar in Bujumbura that left about nine people dead and several others wounded.

The country’s security minster went on to say:

“This operation will take as long as it takes but the operation does not prevent normal lives from continuing, but the only thing is that there were rumors that made civilians to flee,”

Prior to the crackdown, President Pierre Nkurunziza had openly called on armed civilians to voluntarily turn in their weapons. He also added that those who fail to do so will be regarded as enemies of the state.

Responding to the president’s comment, opposition leaders have voiced fears of targeted killings by government forces.

Commenting on the current security situation in the country, one of the citizens said:

“We didn’t have anywhere to go. Some people left because of fear. So I just decided to say here. Whatever happens I will leave it up to God,” 

Despite the growing intensity of the unrest, minister Alain Guillaume moved to assure citizens that peace will soon be restored.

“We have a message to the people of Burundi and those people who have left that the city is secure. And security forces will not rest until peace returns to this country,”

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