Gunfire kills fifth youngster in Burundi clashes

| Updated Feb 06, 2017 at 12:00pm


Police in the Burundian capital, Bujumbura, have been involved in clashes with protesters. Photo: IRIN/Desire Nimubona


Violence in Burundi has claimed the life of a fifth youngster since the start of political demonstrations last month, the UN said Friday.

The victim sustained bullet wounds in the capital Bujumbura on Thursday morning and was between 15 and 16 years old, the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF said.

To date, 200 youths have been injured since the start of street protests against President Nkurunziza's decision to run for a third term in office.

As another young life is cut short amid ongoing political demonstrations in Bujumbura, UNICEF said children should not be mobilised to participate "under any circumstances".

To date five youngsters have been killed in violent street clashes since April 26; all of them sustained bullet wounds, according to the children's agency.

UNICEF's Christophe Boulierac says "These five children have been killed from bullet wounds…they were at a place they should not be, they were in the streets and at locations where demonstrations took place…"

The UN agency said it was also concerned at reports that children had been arbitrarily arrested and illegally held in prisons in the capital.

Schools have also closed in the Burundian capital owing to security concerns and access to hospitals has become difficult for women and children.

Meanwhile, the World Food Programme said it feared a humanitarian crisis in the country, where around 1.1 million people face food insecurity.

SOURCE: Daniel Johnson, United Nations