Burundi : authorities arrest the fifth activist, jail the team suspected of funding terrorism

Burundi : authorities arrest the fifth activist, jail the team suspected of funding terrorism

The minister in charge of internal affairs and security announced Thursday the arrest of another member of associations. This is Prosper Runyange, in charge of the land program within the APDH (Association for Peace and Promotion of Human Rights). He joined four other activists arrested at Bujumbura airport on February 14. They are spending their second night in prison, according to security and prison sources. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

The five activists have been detained in the central prison of Bujumbura known as Mpimba since Thursday evening, several sources in the commercial city told SOS Médias Burundi.

Revelations by Burundian authorities

This Thursday, the Burundian minister in charge of internal affairs and security revealed reasons behind the arrest of these human rights defenders.

“[…], these people work with an NGO which withdrew from Burundi during the 2015-2020 legislature, and unfortunately this NGO continued to work with approved and unapproved civil society groups in Burundi”, said Minister Niteretse.

Doubtful source of funds

According to Martin Niteretse, this NGO grants funds to Burundian associations unofficially.

“Reports that these non-profit organizations produce and send to the Ministry of the Interior, Community Development and Public Security make no trace of this funding. So we carried out investigations gradually three months ago and curiously, we concluded that these approved, or not, non-profit organizations obviously work with this foreign NGO”, adds the Burundian official that says that the four people apprehended at Bujumbura airport were going to Kampala in a meeting “planned by the same NGO within the framework of setting up a steering committee”.


“The results we have at the moment show us that there is a high probability of a risk of terrorist financing through these funds. We must be vigilant on all points so that nothing comes to disturb peace, public order”, he concluded.

The act of terrorism is punishable by a jail of ten to twenty years and a fine of two hundred thousand to one million Burundi francs, according to the penal code in force in Burundi. While this act has resulted in the death of one or several persons, it is punishable by life jail.

Since President Ndayishimiye came into power in June 2020, three activists, including one who was arrested after his inauguration, have been released. Before the arrest of the five human rights defenders, no activist was in prison in the small East African nation.

The Attorney General of the Republic did not want to answer our questions after reading them.

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