Hafsa Mossi, a former minister for East African Community (EAC) affairs and BBC Swahili journalist, was shot and killed by unknown gunmen in Bujumbura, the Burundi capital, on Wednesday.

President Pierre Nkurunziza declared the attack an assassination.

“She was near her home and a tinted car knocked her from behind. She went out to see what happened and was shot twice,” a relative of Ms. Mossi told The East African.

Assassinations of government and military officials have become widespread in Burundi since Mr. Nkurunziza announced he would run for a third term in April 2015. The political crisis has resulted in an estimated 500 deaths, while thousands have fled the country.

“Hafsa Mossi’s death, the latest in a disturbing string of high-profile killings, is a great loss to the people of Burundi and the East African region,” said Muthoni Wanyeki, the Amnesty International Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and Great Lakes.

“Her murder must be promptly, independently, and impartially investigated, and those reasonably suspected of responsibility held to account in fair trials.”

Ms. Mossi served as the first Burundian EAC minister and chaired the Burundi chapter of the East African Legislative Assembly. She played a crucial role in integrating Burundi into the EAC.

The late Hafsa Mossi in Nairobi, 2014

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