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Burundi Army Has To Fix its Asocial Behaviour – Mental Health Expert

4 Min Read

Burundi has been in both local and regional press for very bad stories that bring out the worst of the country’s Military.

According to Hervé Mugisha a Burundian social commentator and journalist, in the space of a month (March-April), or even less, three soldiers killed three individuals. And this, by premeditation. Among these murders, the most emblematic is that of Lt Col Blaise Nimpagaritse.

According to Annick Nikokeza, coordinator of the platform of psychosocial and mental health workers (PPSM), incidents that should remind us that in every workplace, clinical supervision of staff is an imperative.

“We never would have imagined that he was capable of committing such a despicable act.” Stunned, family, neighbors, friends, everyone is speechless in the face of the aftermath of this crime.

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Following one too many drinks, as he conceded during his flagrant trial, Lt Col Nimpagaritse shot point blank at a waiter at the Ku Mucamo bar. It is located in the urban municipality of Muha, Musaga area, Kinanira II district. It is south of the economic capital.

However, if those close to him are to be believed, such an incident could have been avoided if the psychosocial services had taken up his case early. “There is no doubt that the irreparable would have been avoided,” argues one of his army promoters.

This brother-in-arms of Lt Col Nimpagaritse testifies: “Despite his jovial air, his friendliness more than once, he kept telling us that these fits of anger when he takes one too many drinks, one day would cause him pain”.

The alcohol, the anger… The Achilles heel of the other two of his colleagues. According to corroborating testimonies, when Corporal Eric Nzobakenga, soldier of the Mukoni camp in Muyinga, shot Moussa Ntibazokura, Mukoni zone chief, he had had one too many drinks.

Ditto for Master Corporal Fidèle Kwizera, the soldier from Gihanga in Bubanza, who committed murder on Tuesday April 13 following a dispute over a memory card.

Cases, during the presentation of quarterly achievements, Wednesday April 14, that Alain Tribert Mutabazi, Minister of Defense did not fail to mention, preferring to put into perspective. “Isolated cases, in no way should reflect the moods of the entire military corps.”

Originally, a “badly lived” history

In view of this series of murders, Annick Nikokeza, coordinator of the Platform of Psychosocial and Mental Health Intervenors (PPSM) believes that in each workplace for the improvement of productivity, social security, it is imperative to ” have clinical supervision.

“It’s especially at this time that burrs of all kinds become rife. Regularly in the army there should be physical and mental aptitude tests. ” Depending on the results of those assessments, she continues, this would prevent a gun from ending up in the hands of the wrong person.

According to her, what should always be kept in mind is that this kind of behavioral reactions such as aggression, impulsive behavior, excessive consumption of tobacco, alcohol are not trivial. .

“Most of the time, it is the consequence of badly lived antecedents (trauma, disappointment etc.), which have remained buried deep within themselves without being exteriorized,” she points out.

In this case, advocates Ms. Nikokeza, in addition to the vigilance of superiors, case-by-case treatment is required. “Also, it is necessary that during the moral talks, the debates can be held with broken sticks. Otherwise, it is the image of the big mute that risks being chipped. “.