Night assaults, a sad reality in Bujumbura

In several areas of Bujumbura City Council, it is frightening to walk alone during the night because a well-organized gang often attacks people. The gangsters strangle these latter using planks of wood carefully placed on their arms.-Lorraine Josiane Manishatse

A partial view of Bujumbura City Council.©Iwacu

A partial view of Bujumbura City Council.©Iwacu

“It was about 10 O’clock p.m., I was returning home. I was coming from a friend’s wedding ceremony place. When I arrived at 5OOm to my home, I met a group of four young boys who greeted me but I felt afraid because they had suspicious attitude. I tried to run but in vain because they kept on following me. After catching me, one of them strangled me with a kind of plank of wood laid on his arm. I didn’t know how I became unconscious! At least after an hour, I woke up and noticed that they had stolen me my two cell phones, pocketbook containing money and some of my official documents. I can’t tell you how they took off my clothes and shoes,” says Alphonse Maniragaba, an inhabitant at Ngagara Q2. Christian Bigirimana who lives at Kinama Commune depicts a similar following testimony. “It was last year. I was going home in the middle of the night when I was assaulted by four young people. I tried to fight against them but unsuccessfully. They injured me on my neck and on the face until I lost my breathing. They stole me BIF 40 000 I possessed, my cell phone and shoes.” He indicates that group of criminals was not from Kinama; it probably came from Buterere Commune. However, Alphonse points out that those who assaulted him live with him in the same quarter. According to him, some people have recognized them. In general, this kind of banditry is today observed in different areas of Bujumbura Capital City like Nyakabiga, Jabe, Mutakura, Cibitoke, Gihosha and other areas.

Burundi National Police are aware of the phenomenon

According to “OPC1” Harimenshi Herménegilde, Burundi National Police Spokesman, that kind of criminality is nowadays generalized! “We get informed about it from everywhere,” he says. He indicates that strategies are being put in place to eradicate it. “We can’t reveal the strategies we will use because it will be teaching them how to escape.” Harimenshi underlines that the police are preparing to control those wrongdoers: “we are trying to get more information about that phenomenon, identify criminals, victims as well as where attacks occur in order to eradicate it”. He asks Burundians to denounce criminals, contact the police if they suspect them. As the police are a tool of protection they need peoples’ collaboration. “In collaborating with the population we will succeed to fight against wrongdoers. We want to increase police patrols during the nights,” he promises.