Burundian trade union confederation leader arrested

Tharcisse Gahungu, Chairman of COSYBU

Tharcisse Gahungu, Chairman of COSYBU

Tharcisse Gahungu, Chairman of the Burundian trade union confederation (COSYBU), was arrested yesterday in Ijenda area of Mugongo-Manga commune in Bujumbura province.

A police source says he would have been arrested by agents of the National Intelligence Service.
Nsavyimana Célestin, Deputy Chairman of COSYBU, says Gahungu and other trade unions’ leaders namely the chairman of Burundi Cotton Processing Company–COGERCO trade-union and that of the Coffee Processing Company-SODECO together with another COSYBU member have been arrested in Mugongo-Manga Commune. He says they were holding a meeting with members of the Burundi Tea Company –OTB trade-union. “This arrest violated the workers ’rights since the Burundian constitution as well as the international labor code authorize meetings of trade unionists”, COSYBU Deputy Chairman says.

“Last night, we saw a letter from OTB Director General requesting the Minister of Public Security to call off the meeting. We were surprised because this OTB manager does not have any prerogative to do so”, said Nsavyimana.

Gahungu family members confirm that he is detained, but say they have no information about the reason behind his arrest and the place where he is currently detained.