BUJUMBURA – African Union Commission chief Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma said in a statement she was “horrified” by the assassination, condemning “this barbaric act that is likely to further destabilise the country”.
She urged the Burundian government, opposition political parties and civil society “to work very closely together to find a lasting solution to the current crisis”.
The European Union’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini also condemned the attack, warning that it marked “a dangerous escalation of the violence in Burundi”.
She urged all parties to return to dialogue to resolve the country’s “serious crisis”, a spokeswoman said in a statement.
Burundi has been plunged into crisis since March when President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision to run for a third term sparked deadly protests across the country.
Opposition parties argued that the move would be unconstitutional but the constitutional court ruled Nkurunziza can run for a third term.
His government staged a fierce crackdown on protesters that left more than 100 people dead.
A former army general and once senior intelligence officer General Leonard Ngendakumana unsuccefully tried to oust Nkurinziza in May.
Earlier this month he said in an interview with Reuters that his group was still working to oust President Pierre Nkurunziza, accusing him of stoking ethnic divisions in a country still trying to recover from civil war.
The former intelligence officer said At the time (in May) we just failed to remove Nkurunziza from power, “the aim is still there”
Nshimirimana was seen as the mastermind behind the crackdown on the protests as well as a key player in foiling the coup attempt.