Fears rise over Burundi’s census to register foreigners

EPA/DAI KUROKAWA

A Burundian refugee boy sits inside a mosquito net in his family's makeshift tent room set up by the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) in a refugee camp in Gashora, some 55km south of the capital Kigali, Rwanda.

Fears rise over Burundi’s census to register foreigners


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The Government of Burundi launched a census to register all foreigners in the country. All non-citizens in the country are required to report to border police offices within the next two months.

Alain-Guillaume Bunyoni, Burundi’s public security minister, said the move is aimed at granting foreigners a biometric ID card.

Several foreigners told the Agence France-Presse (AFP) new agency they fear it is a pretext to track them. Many Rwandans said the process could lead to their community being victimised.

As reported by Al Jazeera, thousands of Rwandans who lived in Burundi have fled the country in recent months after several arrests within their community.

Burundi has been in turmoil since President Pierre Nkurunziza announced plans in April to run for a third term, which he went on to win.

Relations between Burundi and Rwanda are at a low ebb, with Bujumbura and the United Nations accusing Kigali of supporting Burundian rebels.

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