So far in Burundi, all Burundian students had always received a scholarship, awarded without conditions.
The budget that financed these scholarships has exploded due to the sharp rise in the number of students in recent years, while Burundi, which has been in serious political crisis for nearly two years, is facing serious financial difficulties.
At the beginning of February, the Burundian president signed a decree that transforms this scholarship into a loan that each student undertakes to repay once his studies are completed and which in addition hardens the conditions for his grant.
The students of the public universities fiercely oppose it and decided to engage in an arm-of-iron in order to obtain its repeal.
The 3,000 students of the Ecole Normale Superieure of Burundi, who have launched an unlimited strike since Friday morning, are the first to engage the arm-of-iron.
The more than 11,000 students of the University of Burundi are preparing them to enter the dance. One hundred and seventy of their delegates issued an ultimatum on the same day to President Pierre Nkurunziza in a letter they made public.
They give him until 4 April to repeal his decree, otherwise, they threaten, the students will ” suspend all participation in academic activities “.
This announcement has resulted in a bomb in Burundi because since the beginning of the serious political crisis that this country is going through and the use of a bloody repression to end any opposition to the regime in place, people are afraid.
The government no longer tolerates strikes and does not hesitate to imprison trade unionists.
A general representative of the students named by the power was surprised to see students dare to issue an ultimatum to the head of state.
The rector of the University is outraged for the same reason, and he warned the student delegates about the ” consequences ” of their letter.
Axadle International Monitoring – Africa