Burundi deadly clashes between Government rebel forces spread deeper into capital

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), clashes between the Palipehutu-Forces Nationales de Libération (FNL- Rwasa) rebel faction and the Armed Forces of Burundi (FAB) erupted in southern neighbourhoods of Bujumbura on Monday morning.Mortar rounds that exploded in densely populated locations, including the main Market Place, the Central Bank of Burundi and Prince Louis Rwagasore Hospital, have killed at least two civilians, according to OCHA.While the fighting is believed to have killed up to 20 civilians, injured as many as 1,000 and displaced some 5,000 people from their homes, Sunil Saigal, the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator in Burundi, said no accurate figure existed for the total number of injuries or deaths. “As many as 200 people have been admitted to hospitals and clinics run by national authorities and international non-governmental organizations,” Mr. Saigal said.OCHA said civilians in Bujumbura reported that both the rebels and military had actively encouraged civilians to flee the conflict areas. An estimated 2,000 displaced people, mostly women and children have been temporarily located in the grounds of the Burundi Life Museum (Musée Vivant). They have received high-protein biscuits from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), water from the International Committee for the Red Cross, and medical support from the NGO Médecins Sans Frontiers.The spread of fighting into Bujumbura punctuates a marked deterioration of security in Burundi. Now, 16 of Burundi’s 17 provinces are subjected to sporadic fighting, looting and armed banditry. At this time last year, only six provinces were subject to frequent conflict, while the other 11 were open to and in need of rehabilitation and development. Almost one in six Burundians continues to live away from their homes. read more

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