Burundi: Students of Lycée
Students of Lycée Cibitoke began to flee their school this morning in fear for their security. On 12 November they took to the street demanding security in the wake of the relocation of 807 FNL dissidents to a location 100 meters away from the school.
The students and the dissidents have failed to cohabitate peacefully. The dissidents share the same sanitation and water facilities with students. These dissidents have not yet been disarmed. Students and the population of Cibitoke demand that these dissidents should be relocated elsewhere for fear of clashes. Cibitoke continues to be the stronghold of FNL combatants still loyal to Agathon Rwasa.
The spokesman for the national defence force, Lt Colonel Adolphe Manirakiza, indicated yesterday that a commission is analysing this issue. He added that many of the students of this school are â-šFNL supporters still loyal to Agathon Rwasa", indicating these combatants must have a place to live, although they were moved from Gakungwe and Buterere. The Education minister, Prof Saidi Kibeya, who visited this school today, did not meet all students as he had planned. Students decided to send him a 10-person delegation. Students indicate that they do not have any problems relating to education, stressing that they need defence and/or the security ministers. The minister of education, disappointed by students who refused to meet him, insisted that they have to cohabit with the dissidents. He added that there will be a new registration for those who will come back to school.
Breakaway FNL factions have been targeted by combatants still loyal to Agathon Rwasa since September 2005. The attacks of Buterere, Rugazi, and Gakungwe have already claimed more than 40 casualties, including innocent civilians. Apart from the defence minister, Lt Colonel Germain Niyoyankana, who acknowledged that he had made a mistake in stationing dissidents close to the civilian population, the government has kept silent over the clashes that caused many deaths in Gakungwe and Rugazi, leaving it to the spokesman of the army, Lt Colonel Manirakiza, to announce the decisions of the government in handling this issue.
The hopes of the government of Burundi in relocating the dissidents in the strongholds of the FNL-PALIPEHUTU have not been reached. The relocation has not sped up schisms, but it has bred violence.