Nowhere to run: Burundi violence follows escapees across borders

Teams of thugs are slipping out of Burundi and into refugee camps in neighbouring countries to launch murderous attacks on exiles, as government militias’ campaign of terror spills over the country’s borders, survivors say.

The central African nation slid into violence last year after the president, Pierre Nkurunziza, pushed aside the constitution and ran for a third term in office. Since then more than 250,000 people have poured across its borders seeking safety in neighbouring Rwanda, Tanzania and Congo.

The exodus has been large enough for attackers to hide among the crowds along with their targets. Such is the threat – made clear in police and medical reports seen by the Guardian – that some Burundians have been moved to their refugee camp’s only guarded living area in an attempt to keep them safe.

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