Yesterday I received the following email from Felibien Ndintore, director of Rema Ministries in Bujumbura, Burundi. (Rema Ministries is ECLEA's partner and "feet on the ground" in Burundi):
Following the degradation of the security situation since very early this morning, I would like to let you know that our office, like many other work places in the capital Bujumbura, has remained closed this Friday and this has a negative incidence on meeting deadlines for the ongoing projects. Should this be the case with you, please do bear with us. I would however, like to assure you that RM will try its level best to minimize the side effects this might have on the joint projects.
What happened? While it is clear to everybody present at Bujumbura at this time that the situation is bad enough, very few are able to precisely give reliable accounts of what happened and is still happening. Actually many people have been coerced to remain in their respective homes following heavy fighting that started very early in the morning. We were woken up by heavy shootings, spread across the capital city and without interruption for most of the time. This was probably the heaviest fighting since the attacks started early this year following the contestation, by one group, and support, by another group, of the third term by President Pierre Nkurunziza.
As I write this email at 4:30, there are still sporadic shootings in some areas including Nyakabiga, 2.5 miles away from RM’s office. The spokesman of the army confirmed the attack and stated that 12 persons died and 20 arrested. Unverified sources reveal heavier human loss.
With hope that the situation will soon return to normal, I sincerely thank you for your support. Felibienm, Rema Ministries’ Director
Please pray for the good people of Burundi.