Burundi on the Brink: 5 reasons why people are fleeing crisis-ravaged Burundi

International attention may have moved on, but the crisis in Burundi continues. In April 2015, President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he would run for a third term in office. This sparked largescale protests across the country, which were violently repressed by security forces. Several months later, bodies were being found on the streets the capital on an almost daily basis. Now the crackdown has become less isible, but the climate of fear remains. y May 2016, some 262,000 people had led the country. It’s not hard to see why.

345 cases of torture were reported in the first four months of 2016, according to the UN. Amnesty had already pointed out a rise in the use of torture against political opponents in 2015 in the report Burundi: Just Tell Me What to Confess to.


Over 474 people were killed in the first year of the crisis, including 130 in December 2015 alone. Among them were 29 children and 77 police officers.


At least 36 people have disappeared, including activist Marie Claudette Kwizera. She was taken by unidentified men in a vehicle suspected of belonging to the intelligence services in December 2015, and has not been seen since.  

4,951+ ARRESTS

At least 4,951 people were arrested during the political crisis as of March 2016. 452 were arrested without any evidence in November 2015 alone. 


At least nine officers of the Burundian Army targeted and killed since April 2015. The son of prominent human rights activist, Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, was killed after being arrested by the police. His son-in-law was shot dead outside his house. 

Several political leaders from the opposition and the ruling party have been killed, including Zedi Feruzi, President of the opposition party – Union for Peace and DemocracyZigamibanga.

Read more: Burundi: UN findings must be a wake-up call on torture (12 August 2016)