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State TV employee killed; cameraman narrowly escapes death in separate attack

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders calls on the Burundian authorities to thoroughly investigate the 12 May 2008 murder of Cécile Ndikumana, an employee of the sales department of state-owned Radio Télévision Nationale du Burundi (RTNB), and the attempted murder of RTNB cameraman Hilaire Minani in a separate incident the same day.

"Our thoughts are with Ndikumana's family, to whom justice must be rendered, and with Minani and those close to him, who must be traumatised," the press freedom organisation said. "Letting killers go unpunished just encourages more violence. To prevent these appalling crimes from recurring, the authorities must deploy significant resources to identify and punish those responsible and thereby show they take this kind of violence seriously."

On the evening of 12 May, Ndikumana was returning home with her husband in Kakyosha, a district in the southern part of the capital Bujumbura, when gunmen opened fire, killing her and wounding her husband, who was taken to a Bujumbura hospital. His injuries are not considered to be life-threatening.

That same evening, Minani was having a drink with a neighbour outside his home in Kamenge, in the northern outskirts of the capital, when two gunmen appeared and told them to hand over their money and mobile phones. An altercation ensued in which Minani sustained injuries to the head and hand, and his companion was shot dead. Minani managed to flee.

Bujumbura has seen a wave of murders in the past few weeks and several cases of politically-motivated violence have been reported in Kamenge, in particular. In one incident, an adult and a child were killed and three other people were wounded when heavily armed men attacked the home of a presidential aide-de-camp.

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