6 June 2017

Burundi: Imam Detained for Creating Conflicts in Buterere Mosque

Khalid Miburo, an Imam at Buterere Mosque of Ntahangwa Commune in the capital Bujumbura, is detained since 1 June. "The security forces arrested him when he was at the Buterere office to inquiry after the young Muslims detained for causing conflicts at the Mosque", says a muslim from the locality. Previously, 18 young Muslims have been arrested accused of destabilizing the prayer at the Mosque.

"They brought their own Imam to dismiss Khalid Miburo, the acting one", says Ramadhan Hakizimana, the representative of the Burundi Islamic Community-COMIBU in Buterere area. The police decided to arrest and detain them to calm down the situation but all of them were shortly released expect two who are still behind bars for investigation reasons.

On 6 June, Muslim men and women from Buterere area held a sit-in at the headquarters of the Burundi Islamic Community. "We don't know the whereabouts of our Imam and the motives behind his detention", says one Muslim.

Abdallah Sadiki Kajandi, Chairperson of COMIBU, says it is normal that conflicts occur in a community but measures must be imposed if necessary. "Khalid Miburo has tried to stir up trouble among Muslims. We have tried to calm down the situation by advising conflicting parties", says Kajandi.

The COMIBU representative says the detention place of the Imam is known and states that he will be released as soon as the investigations are over.

The conflict occurs when Muslims have started the holy month of Ramadan since 27 May. "It is normally forbidden to sow any discord in the holy month. We must promote peace and security wherever we are", says Kajandi.

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