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By Godfrey Olukya 2-1-2017

An unknown assailant has shot dead Burundi’s water, environment and planning Minister Emmanuel Niyonkuru.

According to Burundi’s police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye, Niyonkuru 54 has been shot by someone not yet identified by police in the country’s capital Bujumbura.

”We are hunting for the killer of the minister. It is unfortunate that we have lost a minister in such a manner.” said Nkurikye. He promised that soon they arrest all those involved in the killing of the minister.
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Niyonkuru has become Burundi’s first serving government official to be killed as a result of the political crisis that began in 2015.

Burundi has for almost a year experienced relative peace after chaos ensued in the country in 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza ran for third term and won. According to Burundi’s constitution then, presidents were granted only two terms in office.

Fighting took place in Bujumbura and other parts of the country leading to hundred of people dying and thousands fleeing to neighboring countries.

Apart from being protested by citizens, Nkurunziza’s run for a third term was also criticized by the United Nations, the United States, France, South Africa, Belgium and various other governments, who say his election violates the nation’s constitution as well as a deal that ended a civil war back in 2005.

Most western countries and United States imposed sanctions on Burundi which resulted in the small east African country seeking for solace from Russia. In June Burundi signed a deal with Russia’s Gazprombank to facilitate foreign investment.

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