It started as street protests three months ago, with furious citizens demonstrating against Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza’s now successful bid for a third term in power.
But while the demonstrators who blocked city streets in daily protests are now gone, analysts warn the nature of violence has shifted — and some fear they may have already seen the opening shots in a new civil war.
In Africa’s troubled Great Lakes region, an area with a grim history of massacres and war, “a new rebellion is being born before our eyes”, a Burundian analyst said.
The UN Security Council on Monday expressed “deep concern on the political and security” situation.
UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic warned about an escalation, with his spokesman saying “the risk of severe violence, of a spiralling out of control of the situation in Burundi is, indeed, very real”.