AFRICA/BURUNDI - A dozen people have been arrested in connection with the massacre of Gatumba

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Bujumbura (Agenzia Fides) - The Burundian authorities announced the arrest of a dozen people in connection with the September 18 massacre, which occurred in a bar in Gatumba (see Fides 21/09/2011), whose toll has risen to 39 deaths. An official statement said that some of the attackers came from the Democratic Republic of Congo, where former rebels of the Forces Nationales de Libération (FNL), retain their rear bases. Their leader, Agathon Rwasa, went underground in 2010 and is suspected of being responsible for the wave of violence that has recently hit Burundi. In past years the FNL had reached a peace agreement with the government in Bujumbura.
Meanwhile, controversy is arousing the authorities' decision to ban the local media to "publish, comment or analyze" the news about the massacre in Gatumba. To broadcast live radio and television programmes about politics during the investigation into the massacre of Gatumba has been prohibited. A decision, the latter, which has led to concerns on behalf of independent journalists due to the imposition of censorship on the facts that relate to corruption and extrajudicial killings. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 22/09/2011)