Two influential members of CNL party arrested in Kanyosha

Remy Havyarimana, Secretary of the opposition party National Congress for Liberty-CNL in Kanyosha area was arrested in the evening of 11 December and Gaspard Nzobakenga, the propagandist of the same party in Kinzingwe-Bihara neighborhood got arrested in the morning of 12 December. The reasons for their arrest are still unknown.

Remy Havyarimana, CNL secretary in Kanyosha area

“Remy Havyarimana was arrested around 7:00 pm when he left home to the shop,” says one of his relatives. He wonders why he was arrested in the night and without an arrest warrant.

“He is victim of his political affiliation. Those who arrested him did not present the arrest warrant and did not say what he was accused of,” he continues.

The same source says that Mr Havyarimana was arrested by the head of the National Intelligence Service (SNR) in Bujumbura City alongside three members of the ruling party CNDD-FDD youth wing. “He would be detained in the Intelligence Service prison,” he adds.

Gaspard Nzobakenga, whose responsibility is spreading CNL party propaganda in Kizingwe-Bihara neighborhood in Kanyosha area was also arrested in the morning of 12 December.

Sources on the spot say the two members of the opposition party CNL would be prosecuted for the alleged fraudulent issuance of identity cards. “Rumors have been spread over the past few days that Havyarimana and Nzobakenga would be involved in illegal issuance of identity cards to young people,” they say.

Régis Ahishakiye, the representative of members of CNL party youth league, denounces arbitrary arrests aimed at intimidating CNL party leaders. “They were arrested by members of CNDD-FDD party youth wing who are neither administrative, security nor judicial authorities,” he says.

He calls on Burundian authorities to treat members of different political parties equitably. “Human rights must be sufficiently respected. No one should be a victim of his political, religious or ethnic affiliation, “he says.

Contacted, Claude Niragira, chief of Kizingwe-Bihara neighborhood says he is not aware of the arrests.