US Government renews emergency declaration on Burundi ahead of 2020 sham elections

The US Government has renewed the emergency declaration on Burundi and indicated that the situation in Burundi has been marked by killing and other violence against civilians, unrest, the incitement of violence, and significant political repression which threatens the peace, security, and stability of Burundi and the region. The US Government also indicated that the current situation in Burundi continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.  As a result, the Trump administration has determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13712 with respect to the situation in Burundi.

This comes after months of unrelenting attacks by Imbonerakure militia against opposition members in Burundi. The violence committed by imbonerakure against innocent civilians is driving more people from their homes, adding to the thousands already displaced and threatening to spread insecurity elsewhere in Africa’s Great Lakes region.

This week, people fleeing the conflict lugged small children and possessions as they trekked across into Rwanda and DRC from Burundi.

According to humanitarian agencies this week alone saw the arrival of nine Burundian refugees in Rwanda from muyinga province to Ngara and crossed over to Rwanda.  Another group numbered in hundreds crossed to DRC from Gatumba fleeing insecurity in Burundi.   

Violence in Burundi has spread over national wide and recently in Nyakabiga, Burundian security forces cordoned off the Nyakabiga neighborhood in Bujumbura and conducted searches. Apart from brutalizing residents, they also intimidated residents, including children.

Relatedly, Burundi’s opposition politician Marie Claire Niyongere, a woman leader within CNL opposition party in Kiganda/Muramvya province was raped and then killed and her body dumped in a forest.

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