Rwanda: 5 Students Arrested Over Byimana Fires


website geneva;”>The students in Senior One and Senior Two, unhealthy aged between 14 and 16, this were arrested on May 10 following the release of preliminary investigations of a special team, which was instituted to investigate the matter.

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Police Spokesperson, ACP Theos Badege confirmed the arrest.

Preliminary investigations indicate that the students allegedly set the dormitories in flames as a way of convincing their parents to be transferred to other schools citing insecurity reasons.

The students, names withheld, who are currently held at Nyamagana Police Station confessed to the crime, but alleged that they set the school on fire only twice.

They alleged that their parents had refused to bend to their repeated requests to change schools, as this act was meant to change their parents’ mind.

The students explained that they would do the inhuman act as their colleagues are out-door by lighting a mattress, before clandestinely sneaking out.

ACP Badege noted that the arrest of the students and their subsequent confession should be a sign to erase confusion among the public that there are other people or motive behind the criminal act.

The suspect with be charged with arson under article 398 of the Rwandan Penal Code.

It stipulates that, “any person who, willfully sets fire to buildings, stores, ships, vehicles, aircrafts, trains, any occupied building or a building used as an abode and any other place, whether occupied or not, if the offender expected one or more people to be at that place at the time the offence was committed shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of ten years to twenty five years.”

Though the suspects are minors, ACP Badege explained, the matter would be sorted by courts of law.

The school administration also said it has started the construction of other dormitories for the students.

Speaking to press on Wednesday, the suspects said they burnt their school due to insecurity they found at the school,.

Badege who himself was at Nyamagana police station in Ruhango District told press that parading the suspects to the public was to discard rumors that said the school might have been set ablaze by electricity short circuits “and other nonsensical information.”

“This is to clear the air that the fires in Byimana School were caused by students themselves,” said Badege.

“This is the first investigation. We shall soon find out whether there are other people in connection with these incidents.”


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