KAMPALA, Uganda – The group stoking fear among many Burundians includes stick-wielding men who sing patriotic tunes as they march through villages. As the youth wing of Burundi's ruling party, the group has become so powerful that watchdog groups believe its members carry out murders with impunity.
One of the poorest countries in the world, the small Central African nation of Burundi shares both a history of ethnic strife and a border with Rwanda. In a report released Tuesday, the rights group Amnesty International warned of the threat posed by the Imbonerakure, whose members are accused of spearheading the clampdown on the opposition.
Second-term President Pierre Nkurunziza is accused of trying to amend the constitution in order to get a third term in elections due next year, adding to the political tensions.