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Murder of wife by husband highlights criminal homicide peculiarity about Kirundo province

Pierre Nkurikiye, Spokesman for the Police, says it's hard to explain the high criminal homicide in Kirundo

Pierre Nkurikiye, Spokesman for the Police, says it's hard to explain the high criminal homicide in Kirundo

The northern province of Kirundo is peculiarly rife with criminal homicide between spouses. The police say they cannot explain the phenomenon.

The latest case: a man fatally battered his wife on Monday around midnight, the police report.

Gabriel Nyabenda fatally injured his wife, Francine Nsengimana. The reports say he battered her with an empty bottle and a hoe. "They stopped him as he brought a machete to hack her", says the Police Spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye. "He was high on drugs and acted as if he had gone mad", he adds.

The victim, a mother of three, died shortly after at the hospital of Kirundo. Her killer was taken to jail.
Homicide among spouses is widespread in that province according to the police. And they are particular in that province. "Such an incident is not new in that province", says Nkurikiye. He explains that either it's husbands who kill their wives or wives who kill their husbands.

Besides the killing among spouses, "primitive" crimes such as killing with arrows or burning people in their houses are particularly frequent in that region, says Nkurikiye.

The police say they cannot explain that phenomenon. "I don't see how to explain the prevalence of such strange criminality", says Nkurikiye.

Police sources say what's known for sure is that such crimes are common in the dry season. They may be due to the fact that people have nothing to do in that period. Or it may be that the killings rise from disagreements when a spouse is wasting crops.

Bigerumusase Rémy, Social Adviser to the Governor of Kirundo, also says he does not understand what pushes people to commit such crimes. "I haven't yet carried out investigations to understand the causes of the crimes", he says.    

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