"The police are aware of the possible terrorist attacks these days. Some measures have been taken to strengthen security", says Pierre Nkurikiye, spokesperson of the police. He says it is not the first time Burundi receives information on terrorist attacks. "Burundi has been receiving information on possible terrorist attacks since 2007 when it started contributing to peacekeeping missions in Somalia", he says.
Since the past few days, some countries have sent out warnings to their citizens living in Burundi. In the statement issued on 4 December, the US Embassy in Burundi continues to alert its nationals living in Burundi of heightened security concerns regarding terror groups that remain actively interested in attacking US and other western and local interests in Burundi.
"US Embassy Bujumbura has received specific information leading to concerns about the potential activity in early December, including, but not limited to, Bujumbura International Airport and the Kajaga neighborhood in Mutimbuzi Commune of Bujumbura Province, including the associated restaurants and beach resorts", said the US statement.
The US Embassy exhorts its citizens to remain vigilant, take appropriate steps to enhance their personal security, avoid large public gathering with no visible security presence, keep their cell phones charged and with them all time and abide by the instructions given by local authorities.
On 5 December, Burundi Civil Aviation has informed all travelers departing from Bujumbura International Airport that they have to be at the airport at least three hours before the indicated time of departure for security reasons. "Measures have been taken to strengthen security at the airport including other additional security controls" says Emmanuel Habimana,
Director General of Burundi Civil Aviation Authority.
Nkurikiye calls on the population to remain vigilant and avoid gathering in public places these days. "The population must inform security forces about any suspicious activity in their areas. The police are comprehensively equipped to intervene any time", he says.