Burundi: New Security Measures in the Country

16 August 2007

Bujumbura — THE Burundian army has introduced measures to reinforce security around the capital, Bujumbura because of increasing insecurity.

"These last days, we have seen a multiplication of ambushes against vehicles by non-identified armed groups on all the axis roads that lead to Bujumbura. There is a renewal of banditry" army spokesman Adolphe Manirakiza said.

He stated that in the past week, six ambushes had been reported around Bujumbura and two in south eastern Burundi. A group of Belgian tourists were attacked on Sunday in Rutana province, he added.

The army chief said the heavily armed groups behind the attacks were stopping vehicles, throwing people out and taking their possessions but had not killed anyone.

Manirakiza ordered that no one should use the roads linking Bujumbura to the up-country districts at night.

He advised Bujumbura residents to return home early, so that the army could conveniently hunt down the 'enemies of peace'. He, however, stopped short of declaring a total curfew.

"War has ended. We cannot impose a curfew in a stable country," he said.

Some of the dark spots have been the National Road, where eight vehicles were ambushed and looted on Tuesday, the Bujumbura-Bugarama road where three Belgian priests and four students driving in two vehicles were stripped of their property including money, cameras and mobile phones.

And on August 9, three people, including an army officer and his fiancée who were to wed the following Saturday, were shot dead near the Bujumbura Bank of Credit.

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