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Ndirakobuca Becomes Burundi PM

FILE: New Burundi PM Gervais Ndirakobuca, taken 11.22.2021
FILE: New Burundi PM Gervais Ndirakobuca, taken 11.22.2021

Gervais Ndirakobuca has been installed as PM by Burundi's parliament on Wednesday, a week after an audio recording of the president warned that unnamed people were trying to overthrow his government.

Gervais Ndirakobuca - whose nickname 'Ndakugarika' means 'I will kill you' - had been unanimously approved, according to a statement by Burundian parliament released on Twitter.

Ndirakobuca was picked to be PM by President Evariste Ndayishimiye, who last week had warned that unnamed people were plotting to overthrow his government.

In an audio recording Ndayishimiye accused certain people of sabotaging the government by failing to solve a scarcity of key commodities that has fueled resentment among some Burundians.

A senior government official who spoke anonymously said the voice in the audio was that of the president. A call to the president's spokesperson went unanswered.

The central African country has been grappling with shortages of fuel, sugar and other staples for months.

Burundi is one of the world's poorest countries. Over the years, Burundi’s politics have been marred by widespread human rights violations. That includes killings, disappearances, torture and gang rape of government opponents, according to the United Nations.

Prime Minister Ndirakobuca, who replaced Alain Guillaume Bunyoni, is under EU sanctions for his role in quashing demonstrations during political unrest in 2015.