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Ruthless Imbonerakure Hijack National University of Burundi

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Imbonerakure a notorious youth wing of the ruling CNDD-FDD party have stealthily taken over the National University security causing untold suffering to students that are opposed to the regime.

On campus there are several stories of students being tortured in a “ correction room ” located in Pavilion 9 where the student representatives live.

According to a source, an “ Inama nshingiro ”, a place where student members of the ruling CNDD-FDDD party often meet, has been set up in front of this pavilion.

“It’s a well-appointed square with benches in front of the entrance to Pavilion 9. Other students who are not known members of the ruling party cannot sit there. It also serves as a place for torture towards other students”.

Emile Mailo Nduwimana on Monday was returning to campus around 10 p.m. when he ran into a group of other students who were on patrol. They hounded him, tortured him.

As he was bleeding, they brought him to his room at Tropicana 2 number 44. He was already in critical condition. Relatives of the student transported him to Pavilion 9 at dawn so that the students responsible for these tortures would take care of the care ”.

“Wounded in the face, neck and around the throat. He also suffered blows in the back”. According to him, Emile Nduwimana has trouble eating or speaking. He is trying to take medicine.

According to several testimonies, gangs of students who patrol at night in university residences and torture their colleagues have existed for several years.

“ I arrived at the Mutanga campus in 2019. When I arrived, a friend told me. You always have to get back to campus before 9 p.m. so as not to fall into the hands of groups of students doing patrols.”

According to him, returning to Campus Mutanga late at night is risky. Movements in university homes beyond 10 p.m. are almost prohibited.

“In addition to the miserable life, we live with fear in our stomachs. We are all candidates for these tortures as long as we live on this campus.”

Many in and even outside Burundi describe the Imbonerakure, the youth wing of the ruling party as Armed, murderous, militarised, partisan, powerful, unaccountable, uneducated.

Imbonerakure are very important tool for the ruling party especially during campaigns for any political office. They wage a campaign of intimidation and violence to help their prefered candidate win.

Reports are rife that the Imbonerakure have, sometimes in police uniform, attacked protestors with clubs and machetes and even grenades.

Human rights groups have repeatedly raised concerns that the youth wing is doing the ruling party’s dirty work and has become virtually a law unto itself.

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