December is a month that reminds Burundians of the attack n Bujumbura military camps in December 2015: human rights activists and families of victims demand the truth and demand justice

Several families report losing young people “killed at close range” by individuals in police and military uniforms.
 Four years later, John *, who had participated in one of the attacks, remembers: “We had formed two groups, one to recover the weapons and another to cover the first.  I was among those who had to collect weapons. ”  And to continue: “We went there, we used it.  When we returned there, soldiers who arrived in large numbers from Muha camp surrounded us.  Assisted by ISCAM soldiers and paratroopers, they opened fire.  It was then that my friends fell like flies, “recounts with strength and detail this young man from the Musaga district.  And who still doesn’t know where the orders to attack the camps came from.
“Very early that morning, shots rang out near my plot,” remembers Jeannette.  “The neighbors fled and my two sons followed them.  But they were arrested by guys in uniform.  It was very close to the house, I never saw my children again, “she says devastated.

 Some time later, Jeannette learned that her family had been killed the same day as the attacks and the reprisals.  For this mom, the nights never stopped being filled with nightmares.  “Whenever I fall asleep, I see my two sons talking to me.  I hope I will see them again someday, “she sighs, looking blank.

 Clovis *, a young boy from Musaga, remembers that terrible night during which he lost four of his relatives.  “Around 6 am, I went out and saw the bodies of Patrick, Abdoul, Aimé and Claude.  They were lying on the ground, I can never forget that, it is etched in my head like ghosts that keep coming up, “he says, still frightened as if it were yesterday.

 Survivors like Amandin * (in his thirties, in exile) said that many people had been executed just after being arrested by the police, the police and the army.

Abuse and torture by the hundreds

“December 11 and 12, 2015 are dark, evil days for me,” he comments.  “I had taken refuge in Musaga, I was arrested there and taken to the intelligence service, Documentation.  They accused me of being one of the rebels behind the attack on the camps.  In this place, I lived the abominable.  I passed very close to death.  I have undergone torture sessions that I cannot even tell you, it moves me so much, my pulpit was so tested, “warns the former protester of the regime of Pierre Nkurunziza.

Underestimated massacres and abuses

Human rights activists including the president of the local NGO FOCODE, Pacifique Nininahazwe recognize that it is very difficult to obtain figures on the people killed on December 11 and 12, 2015. “There have been many figures,  some spoke of the 300 people killed.  The army first admitted to having mastered the attack by specifying that the fighting had resulted in the death of 12 people, “specifies the activist before announcing that many corpses had been discovered (the very morning of the  attacks) in the districts of Bujumbura, the army then evoking 87 dead.

“Let justice pass”

The activist talks about heinous crimes.  “These are extrajudicial executions and murders of many young people in protest areas against the third term of Pierre Nkurunziza.  In addition to these murders and executions, there are also cases of rape of young girls, “he continues.

Nininahazwe gives several examples of young people arrested and whose photos circulated on social networks before they disappeared.  FOCODE carried out investigations with the support of the “Ndondeza” campaign dealing with enforced disappearances.  He cites the fate of young people taken hostage after the attack on Mujejuru camp in Mugongo-Manga.

“They were arrested and taken to Ijenda in a police cell.  Then they were taken out of the cell by an army officer.  They were found lifeless the next day in Kanyunya (Mukike commune), “accuses the activist.  Attorney General Valentin Bagorikunda at the time said that “seven combatants had been killed in unclear circumstances” but said that “two court reports targeting one police officer and one from the military were opened”.  Nothing has been communicated since about these files.

Amnesty International then spoke of mass graves, which a commission set up by the prosecutor denied.

John * now believes that the attacks on the camps caused the failure of the “revolution”, to use his expression.  “Many young people, after being tortured, confessed everything.  They have revealed the existence of arms caches and the identities of people involved in the fight, including soldiers and police, “he said.  And to assure: “The army and the police besieged our area.  They started to kidnap people one by one.  Those who were not arrested had to flee the country, or even surrender.  “.  And finally to say: “Unless there is a miracle, I don’t think there will be another revolution similar to that of 2015”.

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