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Cablegate: Burundi's Former Second Vice President Released From

VZCZCXYZ0004
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHJB #0178 0731547
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 141547Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY BUJUMBURA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0125
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RHMFIUU/CDR USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUEKJCS/DIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC

UNCLAS BUJUMBURA 000178

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PINR PREL BY

SUBJECT: BURUNDI'S FORMER SECOND VICE PRESIDENT RELEASED FROM
CUSTODY

REF: BUJUMBURA 176

1. Burundi's National Intelligence Services (SNR) released the
former Second Vice President, Marina Barampama, from custody by late
in the evening on March 13, after eight hours of questioning.
Barampama had been arrested earlier the same day on charges of
posing a "threat to the internal security of the state," as well as
"other" unspecified charges. Barampama is required to report
regularly to the National Intelligence Service beginning March 14.


2. It is widely believed that Barampama was detained due to
potential improprieties related to the importation of building
materials from China. The goods, valued at nearly $150,000,
including iron, steel and glass, were imported, duty-free, in the
name of the Office of the Second Vice President; however, many
speculate that much of the material was intended for her personal
use at her residence.

3. Upon her release, Barampama told the local media that she is
being "threatened" due to her political beliefs. Barampama is a key
supporter of former CNDD-FDD party leader Hussein Radjabu. CNDD-FDD
members removed Radjabu as party president during the party congress
in Ngozi on February 7. President Nkurunziza subsequently dismissed
Barampama as the Second Vice President on February 9 for
"insubordination and irresponsibility" after she attempted to stem
the attendance of the Ngozi congress by calling a meeting in
Bujumbura of the socio-economic ministers who report to her.

MOLLER

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