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Burundi opposition official abducted in the capital Bujumbura

An official of the Burundian opposition party Union for Peace and Development (UPD) was abducted on Tuesday while walking with his wife in the capital Bujumbura.

According to his wife Liberty Nzitonda, the 54-year-old UPD treasurer Leopold Habarugira was picked up in the evening by four men including one uniformed police officer armed with a rifle who took him into a vehicle.

“I am afraid because I know that people have been kidnapped in this country and their bodies are found later, or never,” she said.

The UPD President Chauvineau Mugwengezo who is in exile said the abduction of Habarugira “corresponds to the methods of the SNR (National Intelligence Service)”.

The police could not be reached on Tuesday.

Leopold Habarugira is a businessman and one of the few opposition members still in Burundi despite attacks.

His wife said he escaped an attempted assassination in 2016.

The former president and spokesman of the UPD was murdered in 2015.

Burundi faces political tensions between the government and opposition who are facing forced disappearance and torture, while many have been forced into exile.

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