Burundi's Former Premier Charged With Attempt to Kill President

8 November 2023

Burundi's former prime minister Alain-Guillaume Bunyoni appeared in court on Wednesday, November 8, to answer charges that include an alleged attempt to assassinate the country's president.

The substantial trial of Bunyoni, an army general, and his six co-accused began on Monday, in Gitega, the political capital.

Bunyoni faces nine counts including the attempt to kill the president, toppling the government and illegal possession of weapons.

Bunyoni denies all the charges.

On Tuesday, the court ruled to continue part of the hearing behind closed doors after it heard that Bunyoni attempted to kill the president by using witchcraft.

He is also accused of insulting President Evariste Ndayishimiye and Prime Minister Gervais Ndirakobuca.

On Wednesday, Bunyoni answered two allegations of destabilising Burundi's economy by keeping foreign currency at his home and giving it to people anyhow, which allegedly destabilised local foreign currency trade.

He is also accused of abusing public office.

All the six co-accused, who include a former intelligence officer, a police officer and Bunyoni's driver, also deny the accusation of attempting to topple government.

Bunyoni was Burundi's prime minister from mid-2020 to September 2022, when he was sacked by President Ndayishimiye.

The former police chief and minister of internal security was reported missing days before his arrest in April 2023.

A close ally of former president Pierre Nkurunziza who died in 2020, Bunyoni was an influential senior figure in the ruling CNDD-FDD party.

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