May 17, 2019
Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza. PHOTO | AFP
Burundi’s chief justice has ordered the seizure of property belonging to jailed army officers and exiled opposition activists accused of supporting a supposed coup plot against President Pierre Nkurunziza.
The order, signed late Tuesday, targets dozens of government critics accused of spearheading a failed challenge against Nkurunziza in May 2015, when he announced he would run for a controversial third term.
The property and assets belonging to 32 opposition leaders and journalists in exile, and nine jailed military officers, should be “exploited by the state”, said the order co-signed by the Supreme Court chief justice and attorney general.
Government critics said the ruling made a mockery of Burundi’s judiciary and underscored the ongoing persecution meted out against the beleaguered political opposition.
“Pierre Nkurunziza and his henchmen continue the persecution of opponents of the 3rd mandate by seizing their property… a decision which once again ridicules the Burundian justice system,” Vital Nshimirimana, one of the exiled opposition figures targeted in the order, wrote on Twitter.
Burundi exploded into violence when Nkurunziza announced his candidacy in April 2015. He was re-elected in July of that year.
Published Date: May 16, 2019