Bujumbura : worrying strengthening of security at RTNB

Bujumbura : worrying strengthening of security at RTNB

Employees of the Burundi National Radio and Television (RTNB), a state-run medium, were surprised to see, this Friday morning, an important security device such as the presence of police dogs at the entrance to the medium. The barriers guarded by soldiers from the Special Brigade for the Protection of Institutions (BSPI) had also been reinforced. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

The employees of this government medium located in the Kabondo neighborhood, less than 1km from downtown Bujumbura commercial capital) had difficulty crossing the various barriers before arriving there.

The employees who spoke to SOS Médias Burundi indicated that they had to show their RTNB access card to cross the first barrier.

And they added that no service or private vehicle could pass through the gate of this medium before being searched by a police dog.

“In more than twenty years that I have been working at RTNB, I had never seen police dogs at the entrance. Furthermore, I had never realized suspicions reaching this point towards employees of a public medium”, said indignantly an employee of this government medium.

“What we are seeing is abnormal”, another employee testified to SOS Médias Burundi on Friday morning.

Simple test?

According to a BSPI officer assigned to the Presidency of the Republic of Burundi, this is a simple test and training of newly ordered police dogs from South Africa.

However, he affirmed that “we have strengthened security at the RTNB level”. He did not provide reasons.

“No reason was given to us”, a RTNB journalist told SOS Médias Burundi.

Fear of probable attacks

According to other security sources, the Burundian authorities fear attacks after an attack which was carried out by the rebels of Red Tabara* in the locality of Buringa, in the district of Gihanga (province of Bubanza, west) on the night of 2 to September 3 this year.

“There is information circulating about the existence of a rebel movement which could carry out attacks on the Burundian territory at any time. This movement is led by a Hutu and several of its fighters are already stationed in the DRC. With all the indicators which are red and the frustration which is gaining on everyone’s minds, it is understandable that the president and his entourage are careful”, estimates a local observer close to the CNDD-FDD, the ruling party.

For a Burundian journalist who receives a lot of information from the ruling party and state institutions, President Neva does not trust anyone these days.

“Today, the president is acting alone. It’s as if even the ministers no longer have a job. This is why we see the president spending days complaining without any follow-up action”, he says.

And he continued, “the situation is very different from that of the Nkurunziza era. There are very few people who are ready to sacrifice themselves for President Neva. He is aware and must do everything to protect himself.”

According to some residents of the commercial city, so-called routine identity card checks on Bujumbura bridges have increased since Thursday evening.

Since the failed putsch of May 13, 2015, only service vehicles have been authorized to enter RTNB premises.

Private vehicles must have special authorization to access this government medium.

Previous Burundi : Burundian authorities canceled an international conference of Christian women
Next Rutana: 4 months after the murder of Jean Claude Niyongabo of the CNL in Gatara, his family is still requesting justice