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Ethnic balance required when recruiting new army officers

A team made of lecturers from the University of Burundi and the Higher Institute of Military Officers [ISCAM] begun  on 21 November 2016 correcting copies of officer candidates who applied to join the ISCAM 2016 edition.

A team of lecturers from University of Burundi and ISCAM correcting copies of officer candidates

A team of lecturers from University of Burundi and ISCAM correcting copies of officer candidates

Gaspard Baratuza, the spokesman of the Burundi army says all copies will be corrected by the end of the day. “Among 1379 candidates registered, 1339 candidates have been able to take the written exams of French, Mathematics and English courses. 40 candidates among those who applied were absent for various reasons,” he says.

He mentions that a physical test will also be done on 26 November in the centers of all Burundi provinces where
candidates sat for the intellectual capacity test.

Baratuza says the 50% of Tutsi and 50% of Hutu will be respected when recruiting those young officers as required by Burundi Constitution. Usually, the Ministry of National Defense is authorized to recruit between 50 and 100 officers each year. Baratuza hopes that 100 new officers will join ISCAM in this 2016 edition.

He denies information that Tutsi did not apply as it was expected due to some reported cases of Tutsi soldiers killed, imprisoned and abducted by the current regime. “The army recruits those who are both willing and able. We do not force anybody to enter the Burundian army,” says Colonel Baratuza.

He recognizes that the number of registered Tutsi is smaller than the Hutu’s. But the number of Tutsi required by the constitution has been reached.

He calls on everybody not to mix military affairs with political issues. “The army is neutral. It serves the interests of all Burundians without any distinction,” says Baratuza.

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