Two Burundi University students detained by Intelligence Service

Students gathered before the office of the officer in charge of security at the University of Burundi

Students gathered before the office of the officer in charge of security at the University of Burundi

Elysée Dushime, a student at the University of Burundi in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, in Financial Accounting Section, third year and Audace Nkunzimana, a student in the Institute for Applied Pedagogy (IPA) in Bio-Chemistry Section , third year were arrested on 28 and 29 March respectively. The police confirm their detention in the dungeons of the National Intelligence Service (SNR).

Four other students were also arrested in the afternoon of 29 March by the agents of the National Intelligence Service. Witnesses say they were arrested not far from Mutanga campus, the main campus of the national university. Audace Nkunzimana had just taken an exam at the Rohero campus. Suddenly, a tinted vehicle arrived and some unknown men on board took him away with three of his colleagues, witnesses say.

Students are anxious and say they are oblivious of the reasons for the arrest of the class representatives and wonder how they have been identified.

Pierre Nkurikiye, Spokesperson for the police, confirms the detention of the two students of the University of Burundi. “They were arrested on 28 and 29 March and are detained in the National Intelligence Service dungeons for investigations”, he says. Nkurikiye says they are accused of planning activities that would destabilize the University of Burundi. Four students who were arrested with Audace Nkunzimana are now free, says the police spokesperson.

In a correspondence sent to the Head of State on 24 March 2017, more than a hundred student representatives threatened to suspend academic activities “if they do not get a favorable response in the interval between 24th March and 5th April 2017”. Their claim is about the repeal of the presidential decree No. 100/18 of 01/02/2017 reorganizing the system of management of fellowships.