Burundi suspends 10 civil society groups as crisis deepens

map_of_burundiBurundi’s interior minister has suspended 10 civil society groups, accusing them of fueling widespread violence in recent months.

Terence Ntahiraja, the Permanent Secretary, Interior Ministry, said on Tuesday in Bujumbura that the 10 groups, most of them led by prominent civil rights defenders who fled into exile, were found to have been supporting trouble makers.

The permanent secretary said investigations have revealed their involvement in disturbing security in the country.

Ntahiraja said the groups would be given a chance to defend themselves and those found to be innocent would be allowed to restart operations.

He said the groups include APRODH (Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Detained Persons), led by Pierre Claver Mbonimpa, who survived an assassination attempt in August.

Meanwhile, the White House has announced that it would sanction four current and former Burundi government officials, including the minister of public security, over ongoing violence in the country.

An opposition member also disclosed that the groups which led the protests against Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term of office had earlier seen their bank accounts and those of their leaders frozen by the Prosecutor General, Valentine Bagorikunda

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