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Burundi Watch Update 98

Burundian refugees angry

Refugees in the Lusenda camp located in eastern DRC attempt to protest the lack of aid was violently stopped by police after firing in the air. The camp is home to about 30,000 refugees who had not got any aid for about two weeks despite pleas to the camp administrator. The angry refugees had detained the camp administrator in his house until police fired shots.[1]

New commission chair of Inquiry on Burundi appointed

The President of the United Nations Human Rights Council Ambassador Vojislav Šuc has appointed Mr. Doudou Diène as the new chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi. Mr. Diene replaces Fatsah Ouguergouz who stepped down for personal reasons. Mr. Doudou has previously served as United Nations special rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism and as Independent Expert on Cote d’ivoire. He will continue where his predecessor left to find justice for the victims of the civil war in Burundi.[2]

Public workers to pay 10% to fund elections

The government of Burundi has started to tax civil servants to fund the 2020 elections. The government has proposed deducting 10% of each civil servant’s salary to fund the elections after international donors cut off funding. Despite an outcry by civil servants and inconclusive talks with various trade unions, the government has gone ahead to impose the tax. The government still hasn’t mentioned the target amounts to be raised but they insist that they will stop when they have collected sufficient amount to fund the elections.[3]

Burundi now receives refugees

Burundi has received about 8,000 refugees. The refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo are fleeing attacks by government forces who accuse many of them for working with the Mai Mai rebel group. Bunge Semphorie, one of the refugees, said that he fled with his family because they were bombarded by government troops who accused him of supporting the Mai Mai.[4]

[1] Lorraine Josiane Manishatse, “Burundian refugees prevented from holding demonstrations,” IWACU News, January 31, 2018, available at  http://www.iwacu-burundi.org/englishnews/burundian-refugees-from-lusenda-camp-prevented-from-holding-demonstrations/

[2] United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, “President of Human Rights Council appoints new chairperson of Commission of Inquiry on Burundi,” February 1, 2018, available at http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=22621&LangID=E

[3] Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban, “Burundi govt starts taxing public workers to fund 2020 elections,” Africa News, February 4, 2018, available at http://www.africanews.com/2018/02/04/burundi-govt-starts-taxing-public-workers-to-fund-2020-elections/

[4] Moses Havyarimana, “8,000 Congolese flee to Burundi,” The East African, February 3, 2018, available https://reliefweb.int/report/burundi/8000-congolese-flee-burundi

 

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