Bubanza: demobilized soldiers concerned about the lack of law governing them

Bubanza: demobilized soldiers concerned about the lack of law governing them

Grievances raised by demobilized soldiers during a meeting held this Monday in Bubanza (western Burundi) by the minister in charge of defense and veterans, accompanied by the minister in charge of solidarity. Among other things, they denounced the absence of a law governing demobilized soldiers in Burundi. The supervising minister promised them that this law will be ready in February. He recommended them to integrate them into the community. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

Demobilized people say they are worried.

“We are not treated properly. When I went for eye treatment at a hospital in Bujumbura (the commercial capital), I had to insist on getting a doctor. Even the medicine I was prescribed had no effect, on the other hand my condition worsened”, insisted a demobilized.

Participants also demanded to receive the health card.

“We should also have privileges for having fought.”

“I learned a trade. When you demobilized us, you said that we are going to have jobs. This is not the case. We live in misery. Our houses are threatened of collapsing. Why not building houses for the demobbed?”, questioned another participant in this meeting.

Some of the demobilized requested loans through the bank for demobilized.

Faced with all these concerns, Minister Alain Tribert Mutabazi simply indicated that the law governing the status of demobilized soldiers will be ready in February.

However, he invited veterans to no longer consider themselves as a separate category on the margins of society.

“You are part of the community, integrate yourself. Your children are the same as the rest of the children. As for work, priority is reserved for serving soldiers”, said one of the few civilians to have holds the position of minister in charge of defense in the small East African nation.

The person in charge of the demobilized invited his fellows to join cooperatives in the hope of obtaining loans from the microfinance of the demobilized.

“Work, earn your living, you are demobilized”.

“The sick will be treated”, promised Minister Mutabazi.

The demobilized were quickly disenchanted during this meeting. Some had contracted debts hoping that the recent census concerning them would bring them some pecuniary advantage. At this meeting, they were warned that “this annoying habit will cost you dearly”.

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