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Burundi cancels civil society group over tarnishing country’s image

BUJUMBURA Burundi (Xinhua) -- The Burundian home affairs ministry has cancelled activities of Iteka human rights league over accusations of tarnishing the east African country’s image, the ministry spokesman said Tuesday.

"The Iteka human rights league had diverted from its original assignments provided in its constitution. It was collaborating with enemies of democracy in Burundi through fabricating lies and false information on Burundi," Burundian Home Affairs and Civic Education Ministry Spokesman Therence Ntahiraja said.

He indicated that Iteka League continued to commit errors despite its suspension, by the ministry, on Oct. 24, 2016.

Ntahiraja said, "Iteka League issued biased reports containing lies and false information that could destabilize the country."

According to him, the ministry reanalyzed the conduct of Iteka League and decided to "indefinitely" cancel its activities on Dec. 21, 2016.

In November 2016, the Burundi-based Iteka Human Rights League and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) jointly published a report entitled "Repressions with a Tendency to Genocide" where they said that the crisis that broke out in Burundi since April 2015 following the third term bid of Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza has left over 1,000 deaths and between 300 and 800 disappearances.

The report also said that about 8,000 people were detained in various custodies and prisons in the east African nation while some 300,000 people had fled to neighboring countries, mostly Tanzania, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) since the outbreak of the crisis.

However, the Burundian government rejected the report.

In October 2016, the Burundian home affairs and civic education ministry indefinitely cancelled five other civil society organizations for "failing to behave well" during their suspension period.

Those organizations include the Umbrella for Civil Society Organizations in Burundi (FORSC), the Forum for Development Consciousness (FOCODE), the Christian Action for the Abolition of Torture (ACAT-Burundi), the Association for the Protection of Human Rights and Detainees’ Rights (APRODH) and the Network for Honest Citizens (RCP).

Some civil society organizations have been accused of organizing, in April 2015, protests against Nkurunziza’s third term bid that he later won three months later.

Burundi has suffered turmoil since April 2015 when President Nkurunziza decided to run his controversial third term in violation of the national constitution and the 2000 Arusha Agreement that ended a decade-long civil war.

More than 500 people in Burundi have been killed and the UN Refugee Agency estimates that about 300,000 people fled to neighboring countries mostly Tanzania, Rwanda, DR Congo and Uganda since the outbreak of the crisis.


UN condemns assassination of Burundian minister Emmanuel Niyonkuru

UNITED NATIONS New York (Xinhua) -- The United Nations on Tuesday condemned the assassination of Emmanuel Niyonkuru, Burundian minister of water, environment, and planning, on January 1.

"We express our sincere condolences to the family of Mr. Niyonkuru, the government and people of Burundi," UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said at a press briefing.

"This act serves as another sad reminder of the urgent need for the Burundian parties to come together in the larger interest of the people of Burundi in the search of a lasting political solution for the crisis in the country," he said.

To that end, the United Nations stands ready to continue working with partners in support of the Facilitation led by the East African Community, said Dujarric.

Over 30 patients with cholera symptoms in Burundi Cibitoke province

BUJUMBURA Burundi (Xinhua) -- Over 30 patients with cholera symptoms have been admitted to medical structures since last week in Burundi’s northwestern Cibitoke province, Burundi National Radio reported Tuesday.

The state-run radio said that the most affected area is Rugombo town where medical sources confirmed that at least 29 cases of patients with cholera symptoms reported to health centers since Dec. 29, 2016.

The radio said that, until Tuesday, four persons with cholera symptoms were successfully treated and have gone back to their homes.

The radio also reported that no one has died of the epidemic, adding that the Burundi Red Cross has been disinfecting households where patients are coming from.

Residents in Rugombo town face shortages of potable water and drink unclean water from the River Rusizi.

For a long time, several localities in the western part of Burundi have suffered from serious shortages of clean drinking water and citizens living in poor neighborhoods drink unclean water from the River Rusizi or Lake Tanganyika, catching cholera bacteria.

Karusi province crop theft leaves third successive victim in Burundi

BUJUMBURA Burundi (Xinhua) -- A man suspected to be a thief was Wednesday killed at Buhiga in the Burundian northeastern province of Karusi, becoming the third victim over stealing food crops in plantations in less than a month.

As reported Thursday by Burundi-based Radio Isanganiro, the man was beaten and killed to death by people who had batons and machetes after they caught him stealing cassava from a plantation.

The private radio reported that the people who beat him to death ran away after they realized that the victim was agonizing.

The radio said that it is the third man killed in less than a month in Karusi province under the same circumstances.

It reported that two persons were killed at Buhiga with one killed by watchmen at Gitaramuka after they caught him red-handed stealing potatoes in a plantation.

Police kill shepherd in Burundi’s Bururi province

BUJUMBURA Burundi (Xinhua) -- A shepherd was Wednesday killed in clashes with policemen as shepherds were attempting to recover their cattle seized over grazing in a private farm at Songa in Bururi province, 100km south of the Burundian capital Bujumbura, local administration sources said Thursday.

Another shepherd was injured during the clashes.

"Clashes occurred yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon in a farm belonging to the Burundian National Agricultural Research Institute (ISABU) at Mahwa in Songa district when shepherds were attempting, by force, to recover their cattle seized by the police and agents of the farm over unlawfully grazing in that farm," said Bururi Governor Christian Nkurunziza.

According to him, the shepherd was shot dead by a policeman after he and three other shepherds were attempting to "disarm" another policeman.

The incident happened at about 16:30 (14:30 GMT).

Watchman drowns in river after taking hyper-alcoholic drink in Rutana province

BUJUMBURA Burundi (Xinhua) -- A corpse of a watchman was Wednesday discovered floating on a river near Rutana town, 150km southeast of the Burundian capital Bujumbura, the administrator of Rutana district said Thursday.

"The corpse discovered yesterday (Wednesday) floating on a river was that of a 40-year-old watchman at Rutana secondary school.

"We suspect that the man took a lot of hyper-alcoholic drink, and as he was going back to his duties on Tuesday night, he fell in the river and drowned," Rutana District Administrator Isidora Nkundizanye said.

She indicated that another drunken teacher at that school had, last week, succumbed to his injuries in a hospital after falling in a rocky ravine near the school.

The teacher had also taken the hyper-alcoholic whisky locally manufactured called "Kanyanga" whose consumption is prohibited in the east African nation.

Burundi to start importing sugar as shortage bites

BUJUMBURA Burundi (Xinhua) -- The Burundian government has authorized importation of sugar between February and May 2017, the Burundian trade minister said Friday.

"A list of businesspersons who are able to import sugar will have to be set up," said Burundian Trade Minister Pelate Niyonkuru in the press release.

According to her, businesspersons wishing to import sugar should have the capacity of importing at least 5,000 tonnes of sugar.

The authorization of importing sugar came at a time when sugar becomes scarce in the East African nation as the only local sugar producer Moso Sugar Company (SOSUMO) has been unable to cater to domestic consumption.


Burundi incumbent to run for 2020 presidency if citizens request

Burundi sue African Union over unpaid salaries for AMISOM troops

Security arrest three in connection with killing of Burundi minister

Burundi church grenade explosion injures 8 in Bubanza province

Large Burundi political party calls for repatriation of citizens

Facilitator acknowledges 'legitimacy of Burundi President’s rule'



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