Gitega June 10th (ABP) – The Senate of Burundi unanimously passed two bills pertaining to the National Intelligence Service (SNR) on June 7, 2019. They were presented by the Minister responsible for National Defense, Mr. Emmanuel Ntahomvukiye.

Mr. Ntahomvukiye first introduced the organic bill on the missions, organization and functioning of the SNR; then the bill amending Law No. 1/05 of March 2, 2006 on the Staff Regulations of the SNR.

Speaking about the interest of the first bill, he indicated that it is intended to modernize the SNR with a view to making it more professional and efficient in order to meet the needs of national security in a context of regional and international integration of Burundi, on the one hand; and to restore the image of this body long demonized by a certain opinion, on the other hand.

As for the main innovations of the bill, Minister Ntahomvukiye highlighted among others, the preservation of the secrecy of the SNR’s missions from the budget forecasts to the protection of its staff members in the interest of the service and surety of the State, the expansion of the SNR’s missions with a view to countering current and potential threats to State security in the light of scientific and technological developments, the creation of technical offices within the administration’s cabinet for better organization and monitoring work, the training of staff members to adapt it to the needs of the service and the professional environment, as well as the setting up of an internal control body that is well placed to promote the principle of accountability and good governance.

The Minister in charge of National Defense also commented on the reasons for drafting the bill amending Law No. 1/05 of March 2, 2006 on the Staff Regulations of the SNR. He indicated that this bill is intended to respond to the concerns raised during the sessions of reflections and exchanges repeatedly organized on the staffing of the SNR of a qualified and highly professional staff, with appropriate working techniques for good accomplishment of the missions assigned to that body. Moreover, he added, this bill responds to the imperative of giving a motivation to the SNR staff and guarantees of its career to make it more stable. Furthermore, certain provisions of that bill are introduced to follow the example of similar services in the sub-region. Finally, he concluded, the amended law is no longer adapted to the constitution of the Republic of Burundi currently in force.

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