Former prime minister of Burundi, Alain-Guillaume Bunyoni, is being held by the government, it was confirmed on Sunday.
The confirmation of Bunoni’s whereabouts was made by Burundi’s Attorney-General Sylvestre Nyandwi, who said in a statement that an April 17, 2023 operation did not net the former Prime Minister who was, however, later arrested on April 21.
According to the Attorney-General, Bunyoni was re-arrested when he was “found hiding in Kabezi Commune (Bujumbura).”
“The Attorney-General would like to inform national and international community that General Bunyoni is in the hands of the police,” the statement said.
He said after conclusion of investigations, “the findings will be handed over to the Attorney-General, from which he will take appropriate measures as the law stipulates.”
The AG’s statement comes after the National Independent Human Rights Commision (CNIDH) on Saturday said Mr Bunyoni was in custody.
The Commission said on Twitter that the former leader was “in good health” after rights activists said he had been arrested outside Bujumbura and they were worried about his safety and wellbeing.
“CNIDH made a visit on 22/4/2023 to meet with General Alain Guillaume Bunyoni. He is doing well. He has not suffered any act of torture or any other abuse since his arrest. His family has been notified. The process is following its normal course,” the commission tweeted Saturday.
A Twitter account claiming to be Bunyoni’s daughter has been stepping up pressure on the government to reveal the whereabouts of the ex-premier.
He went “missing” from his home on April 17, according to the country’s Ministry of Interior and Public Security.
It said that he was wanted by the Office of the Prosecutor General, but it did not reveal the charges against him.
A “manhunt” was launched countrywide on the day he was reported missing, with some reports saying he had crossed the border into Tanzania.
Tanzania on Friday denied any knowledge of his presence in the country as the manhunt for him continued at home.
“The government has no information of Mr Bunyoni or any of his alleged accomplices having sought refuge in Tanzania. If there’s anyone who knows their exact whereabouts in Tanzania, our security organs should be notified,” Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Stergomena Tax told The EastAfrican.
Mr Bunyoni was removed from office in September 2022 after falling out with President Evaritse Ndayishimiye.
Political analysts say his removal from the office was largely due to his continued public statements against the incumbent president.