1. Home
  2. Africa
  3. East Africa
  4. Burundi

Rebels free MP, four other hostages

Fighters loyal to rebel leader Pierre Nkurunziza released on Wednesday one Member of Parliament and four others out of 11 people they had kidnapped last week in Ruyigi Province, eastern Burundi.

"We decided to release five hostages, among them [MP] Mrs Veronique Nizigama, because they have nothing to do with the conflict between our movement and the FRODEBU party," Gelase Daniel Ndabirabe, the spokesman for the Conseil national pour la defense de la democratie-Force pour la defense de la democratie (CNDD-FDD), told IRIN on Thursday.

All female hostages were among those released, he said. He added that the others, who include three MPs, would "probably" be released after investigation.

"We are still questioning them to know what they were doing in a territory controlled by FDD," he said.

The rebels said Saturday’s kidnapping it was a warning to the Burundian government to end a propaganda campaign against the group.

The CNDD-FDD secretary-general, Hussein Radjabu, said on Monday that the Front pour la democratie au Burundi (FRODEBU) had tried to discredit the group's image before the international community by saying the movement was against peace.

During the 41st anniversary of Burundi's independence on Tuesday, President Domitien Ndayizeye asked the CNDD-FDD to release the four MPs immediately and without condition. The president is a member of FRODEBU.

"If the CNDD-FDD continues to be obstinate, the government will take appropriate decisions to remedy such ignoble acts," Ndayizeye said.

The kidnapped MPs are the deputy secretary-general of the parliament, Pierre Barusasiyeko; the head of the parliament's Human Rights Commission, Leonidas Ntibayazi; Fabien Bankinyakamwe and Nizigama, who was released on Wednesday.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

Share this article
Join the discussion

Help make quality journalism about crises possible

The New Humanitarian is an independent, non-profit newsroom founded in 1995. We deliver quality, reliable journalism about crises and big issues impacting the world today. Our reporting on humanitarian aid has uncovered sex scandals, scams, data breaches, corruption, and much more.


Our readers trust us to hold power in the multi-billion-dollar aid sector accountable and to amplify the voices of those impacted by crises. We’re on the ground, reporting from the front lines, to bring you the inside story. 


We keep our journalism free – no paywalls – thanks to the support of donors and readers like you who believe we need more independent journalism in the world. Your contribution means we can continue delivering award-winning journalism about crises.

Become a member of The New Humanitarian today

Become a member of The New Humanitarian

Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides accountability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide.