Head of a Burundian militia accused of atrocities to lead state broadcaster RTNB

Written by on July 16, 2019

Gitega, Burundi (4E) – The head of a Burundian militia that has allegedly committed atrocities, including the killing, raping and robbing of opposition activists, has been tabbed to lead state broadcaster RTNB.

Human Rights Watch called the naming of Eric Nshimirimana to the post “a blow to all victims of abuse perpetrated by the Imbonerakure, as well as freedom of the press in Burundi”.

Burundian officials have denied the allegations against the group, Imbonerakure.

The Imbonerakure, the youth wing of the ruling CNDD-FDD party, allegedly had abusive behavior on a grand scale after President Pierre Nkurunziza won a third term in 2015.

Violence broke out, leading tens of thousands of Burundians to flee while Imbonerakure’s abuses have allegedly continued.

The group has been accused of taking part in the gang-rape of female relatives of opposition activists, which the government denies.

While the controversial Nkurunziza won’t seek re-election, many are concerned by Nshimirimana’s new role.

“Nshimirimana should be held accountable for what happened under his watch, instead of rewarded with the leadership of one of the country’s last remaining media outlets,” Lewis Mudge, Central Africa director of Human Rights Watch, told the BBC.

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