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Burundi Watch Update 81

Report on Enforced disappearances

 

One of the main crimes that has been a hallmark for the Burundi conflcit has been enforced dissapearance that has involved collusion of security forces. As the world celebrated the international day of the victims of enforced disappearances on 30 August 2017, Burundi human rights NGO,  FOCODE documented enforced disappearcances and asked ICC to open an inquiry into the situation of Burundi  where hundreds of cases of enforced disappearances have occurred. According to FOCODE whose Ndondeza Campaign releases at least one statement per week, it  has gathered information of  150 cases of enforced dissapearances and has documented 40 cases so far [1]. Early in July 2017, FIDH  along with 6 Burundian NGOs released an alarming report that showed an estimated number of between 400 and 900 of cases of forced disappearances[2].

The Burundi government has  challenged the report. On August 30 2017 the national assembly set up a 12 members special commission whose mission is to, verify  the content of the report of the commission of inquiry of the UN. The commission is expected to  release its report in December 2017[3]

 Tanzania to repatriate refugees

 

Burundi and Tanzania with help from the United Nations High commissioner for Refugess ( UNHCR) have agreed to repatriate refugees that  are willing to return back to Burundi. Tanzania’s president John Magufuli came under a lot of criticism for urging the Burundian refugees in his country to retun home and even telling his government to stop granting Burundians refugee status.

 

Past attempts to return refugees have turned violent as  the refugees refused to leave the camps.  Civil society actors however contend that before refugees can return there is need to stop the ongoing violence in Burundi so that the refugees can returnn without fear of persecution.

 

Killings, grenade attacks and gunshots

Some of the reported cases of killings and grenade attacks include:

 

  • On 28 August 2017, intensive gunshots were reported in Rukaramu in the District of Mutimbuzi
  • On 28 August 2017, The NIS chief in Muyinga, Gérard Ndayisenga shot and wounded a young man in Shatanya in the District of Gitega
  • On 28 August 2017, an Imbonerakure known as Révérien Manirakiza wounded 5 policemen and 3 civilians when he attacked them with a machete in Gasanda of the District of  Ruyigi
  • On 28 August 2017, Bonith Habonimana was gravely wounded by Imbonerakure who attacked him with machetes in Nyempundu in the District of Mugina
  • On 29 August 2017, a dead body of a unidentified teenager was recovered at  Ruyange- Mbizi in the District of Kibago
  • On 29 August 2017, a dead body of unidentified person was  recovered in a plantation of rice situated in Rugazi in the District of Rugombo
  • On 30 August 2017, a dead body of Athanase Manirakiza  was recovered in Mwanda in the District of Bubanza
  • On 30 August 2017, Gaspard Niyokwizera was killed by unknown gunmen in Donge- Burasira in the District of Mugamba
  • On 31 August 2017, a grenade attack at the residence of Sabine Habimana located in Bunywana in the District of Buhinyuza  resulted in her child,  Annonciate Ndihokubwayo being wounded
  • On 31 August 2017, a dead body of Melchior Miburo was recovered in Runda in the District of Marangara
  • On 31 August 2017, a policeman known as Cyprien  Ngendakumana  assigned to  Gatete police station in the District of Busoni shot at 2 persons namely Bigirimana and Ndereyimana and wounded them
  • On 31August 2017, Abel Ciza was strangled to death in Kiyabu in the District of  Butaganzwa
  • On 1 September 2017, a dead body of a 21 year old woman Aline Harerimana was recovered alongside that of a kid at Kanyonga in the District of  Itaba

       

Arbitrary arrests and abductions

 

Some of the arrests and abductions that were reported during the period report:

 

  • On 31 August 2017, twelve( 12) youths were arrested as they entered the city of Bujumbura. All were descended from the bus and told to show their passports. Those who had stayed more than two months abroad were taken to unknown destination. Eight passports of women coming back from Saudi Arabia were seized by the police
  • On 1 September 2017, Radio Isanganiro correspondent in Gitega Arthur Kavabushi was arrested in Buraza by the Police which detained him for one hour before he was released
[1] See Déclaration du FOCODE à l’occasion de la Journée Internationale des Victimes de Disparitions Forcées, https://www.focode.org/declaration-focode-a-loccasion-de-journee-internationale-victimes-de-disparitions-forcees/
[2] See Burundi on the brink, looking back on two years of terror, https://www.fidh.org/en/region/Africa/burundi/burundi-on-the-brink-looking-back-on-two-years-of-terror

 

[3] See, http://www.assemblee.bi/Questions-Orales-avec-debat-a-l,1580

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