Burundi arrests local administrators for robbing residents

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Police in Burundi have arrested 12 people, including local administrators, on charges of robbing residents returning from neighbouring Tanzania, a police spokesman said.

The arrests in southern Makamba province took place two days after security Minister Gervais Ndirakobuca warned police and administration officials against engaging in bribery and other corrupt practices.

Police spokesman Pierre Nkurikiye said the 12 arrested included three administration officials he said had robbed citizens of their money after they returned from working in Tanzania.

“They stripped their victims of their belongings and money. And those who escaped paid exorbitant amounts of money as transportation fees to reach their home villages,” he said in comments aired on state television.

Burundi’s new president, Evariste Ndayishimiye, took office last month promising to unite the country and uphold citizens’ rights.

Rights groups have accused local administrators, security services and the youth wing of the ruling party of torture, gang-rape and murder of political opponents. The government has dismissed the accusations