Bigirimana family says its security is threatened

The wife of the journalist of Iwacu Press Group gone missing since 22 July 2016 says unknown people threw stones at the roof of her house on which they also wrote with blood words like ‘keba’ meaning ‘cut, be watchful, an opponent’ depending upon the context, in the night of 26 March. She asks that her security be strengthened.

The house of Bigirimana family on which unknown people wrote words of intimidation using blood

The house of Bigirimana family on which unknown people wrote words of intimidation using blood

“Yesterday at about 11 pm, unknown people attacked our house. They threw stones at the roof. In the early morning of 27 March, my neighbors and I found blood writings on the shop walls of the same home. It is very scary and terribly threatening, “said Godeberthe Hakizimana, the wife of Jean Bigirimana, Iwacu journalist, who has gone missing since July 2016.

This occurred in Gituro neigborhood, Kamenge urban zone in the north of the Burundian capital Bujumbura. This young mother of two children finds these writings as a threat to her family. She says they had shed a lot of blood beside the house. When Iwacu reporters arrived at the place, the blood was already cleaned. Mrs. Hakizima calls on the police to assure her safety because she is terrified. She says people believe that she is rich. “A person came to ask me to lend him BIF 2 million. When I told him I didn’t have any, he was not convinced and swore to do me wrong, “she says.

Her neighbor considers that it is a criminal act. “It is difficult to describe this act. I cannot say they were targeting one or the other among the tenants of this compound because they live in perfect harmony. There is no provocation or conflict between them, “he said.

Local administration reassures Bigirimana family

Eric Ndayisaba, the chief of Gituro neighborhood, says security is generally good in the locality. What happened to the family of the journalist Bigirimana is an isolated case. “I will conduct investigations into this matter. I reassure that lady. As local authorities, we will study her case,” he says.

Pierre Nkurikiye, Spokesman for the Burundian police, says he is not aware of the act of intimidation against Bigirimana family. He says the police intervene only when they are alerted to the possibility of danger. “We invite the woman to come and tell us what happened in order to analyze together what measures could be taken,” Nkurikiye said.