Former President Bagaza's house searched, associates arrested
BUJUMBURA, 1 Nov 2002 (IRIN) - Police on Friday morning searched the residence of former Burundi President Col Jean-Baptiste Bagaza, and arrested four members of his opposition political party.
Bagaza, who is currently head of the Parti pour le redressement national (Parena) and a member of the transitional government senate, said he did know why his house had been searched nor why some of his party members had been arrested.
"I first refused to cooperate with the police, because there was nothing to search here," Bagaza said at his residence in the capital, Bujumbura. "The problem of Burundi is those who are shooting from everywhere and who are negotiating in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, after committing crimes, including genocide. As far as I am concerned, I do not feel guilty of anything."
The four arrested were Parena Secretary-General Leonidas Ntakare, Permanent Secretary Christophe Hicintuka, the party's spokesman, Zenon Nimubona, and Benoit Ndorimana.
An agent of the government intelligence service said on condition of anonymity that the action was "linked to Parena political agitation" over the past few days. No police or government official gave reasons for the search and arrests.
By Geoffrey Kamali
and Felix Osike
FORMER Burundi President Col. Jean-Baptiste Bagaza was Friday placed
under house arrest at his residence in the capital Bujumbura.
He was later dragged before the prosecutor general over charges of
threatening the security of his country. Four members of his opposition
political party were also arrested.
"The President is under House arrest and his South African body guards,
provided to him at the Arusha Accord, have been withdrawn," a family
source told The New Vision by telephone from Bujumbura yesterday.
Bagaza, who is currently head of his Parena party and a member of the
transitional government senate, protested the arrest, saying he has
He is being held at his residence in Rohero, a posh suburb of Bujumbura
and nobody is reportedly allowed to see him, the source said.
Those arrested included party secretary general Leonidas Ntakare,
permanent secretary Christophe Hicintuka, party members Zenon Nimubona and
Bagaza's nephew, Innocent Sabiyunva, present at the time of arrest, was
picked on Saturday.
Published on: Monday, 4th November, 2002
The Mulindwas communication group