Burundi: Stop the hypocrisy of Evariste Ndayishimiye and his government on the repatriation of refugees and the reintegration of internally displaced people
Burundian refugees are now mistreated in countries like Tanzania, DR Congo and Uganda. Yet the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, ratified by 145 States Parties, defines the term « refugee » and sets out their rights as well as the legal obligations of States to ensure their protection. The fundamental principle is non-refoulement, according to which a refugee should not be returned to a country where his life or freedom is seriously threatened. UNHCR has a role of “guardian” of the 1951 Convention and its 1967 Protocol. According to the law, States must cooperate to ensure that the rights of refugees are respected and protected. These are principles that relate to this convention. However, the observation is bitter:
In Tanzania, this is where the biggest scandal is. The refugee camps are less than 150km (from the border with Burundi) required. With the supposedly good relations between the ruling cnddfdd clique with the Tanzanian authorities (the two are linked by business relations; for its own interests, Tanzania has always supported this cnddfdd clique), part of the imbonerakure militiamen were sent to the camps as refugees for intelligence missions, the others leave Burundi and regularly go to the camps to commit crimes, in complicity with the Tanzanian militia and police. Tanzanian government officials keep visiting these camps to threaten refugees to expel them from their territory. This is why over 100 refugees have been taken from their households and theirs no longer know where they are. However, they were arrested and transported in police vehicles. Sooner or later Tanzania will have to say what happened to these people. The government is solely responsible. The markets have been closed to them, no activity allowing them to live well is no longer allowed. Today, they are receiving spoiled food to encourage them to return for fear of starving to death.
In DR Congo, refugees have just spent many days without food. This would be caused by the change in their supply system. UNHCR and PAM are now donating money in mobile money. It takes time for everyone to be equipped with this technology. Meanwhile people are starving
From another angle, the refugees are accused by law enforcement officials there of being recruited into rebel groups; another scheme to forcibly drive them away one day, if they are not attacked, considered potential fighters.
In Uganda, refugees lack food and when they are supplied, they are given an insufficient quantity.
Where is the UNHCR? A United Nations agency that takes care of refugees. While it is the duty of host governments to ensure their safety, UNHCR must provide them, in collaboration with other international organizations, with the conditions necessary for their survival.
The government of Evariste Ndayishimiye, Alain Guillaume Bunyoni and Ndakugarika continues to appeal to refugees and internally displaced people to return to their households to build the country. Does this call come from the bottom of their hearts? Do they really love their Burundian compatriots who have fled? The answer is probably NO. The reality is that they are doing it just to show the public and especially the international community that there is total peace in Burundi and that cooperation is starting again in order to derive multifaceted aid allowing them to manage the country. This is even noticeable in the speeches of President Ndayishimiye.
The information at our disposal tells us that during their recent government retreat in Ngozi, such a slogan was given to members of the government: do everything to work well, until sacrifice, to show good face to the international community; which will allow the refugees to return and the displaced to return to their hills, afterwards, « tuzogahinyanyura » (meaning we will see what we do after). This is what shows the hypocrisy of these men, and why not a hidden genocide project. Why are internally displaced people returning to their hills today when there is no house or land that would allow them to live? How will they live with the people who chased them away after killing members of their families and reclaiming their fields without any attempt to reconcile the two parties? Isn’t this a simply stupid strategy to want to isolate them and deliver them to the imbonerakure in order to eliminate the annoying witnesses of the Tutsi genocide of 1993 and during the entire period of Hutu rebellion unleashed after the assassination of Melchior Ndadaye, supposedly to defend the democracy? Whether it is the refugees, whether it is the displaced, the two groups are survivors of the killings perpetrated by extremist Hutus including the Burundian leaders of today.
URN HITAMWONEZA, co-author of a petition launched yesterday July 27, 2020 on this subject invites all souls in good faith, who are still concerned about the rights of every human being, to sign it to remind international organizations in charge of human rights, the United Nations, to do everything they can to save the lives of thousands of Burundians in danger of death.