Nairobi, Kenya, Nov 30 – Burundi on Friday said it had launched international arrest warrants for ex-president Pierre Buyoya and 16 former senior officials over their alleged role in the 1993 assassination of Melchior Ndadaye, the country’s first democratically elected Hutu leader.
“The findings of the inquiry show that these people were involved in this crime — its planning and preparation and execution,” Attorney General Sylvestre Nyandwi said.
The others include 11 former senior defence officials and five civilians close to Buyoya.
Burundi asked the various countries where these men are living in exile to extradite them, saying: “It is imperative that they are questioned on the role they played” in the murder.
Buyoya is currently the African Union’s representative in Mali and a respected figure on the continent as well as overseas.
Buyoya, a Tutsi, came to power in 1987 with the help of the army. He stepped down in 1993, when Ndadaye was elected, but Ndadaye was killed just four months later in an attempted coup by hardline Tutsi soldiers.
The murder led to several years of civil war between the two ethnic groups, in which an estimated 300,000 people died.
The country is currently ruled by the Cndd-FDD party, which is an offshoot of the main Hutu rebel group.