Burundi’s top human rights activist attacked by gunmen

Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa is a prominent human rights activist in Burundi

A prominent human rights activist in Burundi has been seriously injured after being shot at by men on motorcycles.

The attack on Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa comes on the heels of General Adolphe Nshimirimana’s assassination on Sunday. Nshimirimana was a top general and right hand man to president Pierre Nkurunziza

Sources say Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa, who had publicly opposed Nkurunziza’s controversial bid for a third term has been very badly wounded and is currently receving treatment in Bujumbura.

Mr Mbonimpa is the president of the Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Detained Persons (APRODH).

The 64-year-old Mbonimpa has been arrested several times, spending four and half months in jail in 2014.

At that time, he was accused at the time of “endangering state security” over allegations that the ruling CNDD-FDD party’s youth wing was being given paramilitary training in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

Burundi has witnessed a wave of violence since April, when Nkurunziza announced he would be seeking a controversial third term in office

Opponents argued  that Nkurunziza’s  third term contravened the constitution. His government also  and there was a failed coup attempt in May.

A presidential election was then held last month which Mr Nkurunziza won, but which was boycotted by the opposition.

A relative of Mr Mbonimpa told the Reuters news agency that the activist was in intensive care in a Bujumbura hospital following the shooting which took place near his home north of the capital on Monday evening.