Politics

Burundi: Foreign NGOs to respect constitutional ethnic balance in recruitment

Burundi Senate plans to conduct a survey among foreign Non-Governmental Organizations-NGOs to ensure that they respect 60% of “Hutu” and 40% of “Tutsi” ethnic groups. Anicet Niyongabo, Second Deputy Speaker of the Senate says the higher chamber of parliament will deploy a group of senators to carry out a field visit in different foreign NGOs.

Anicet Niyongabo: “Foreign NGOs have got sufficient time to comply with the law but extra time will be given for those which will have been late”

Anicet Niyongabo: “Foreign NGOs have got sufficient time to comply with the law but extra time will be given for those which will have been late”

“They will ensure that the constitutional and gender requirements are met in the staff recruitment’, he says adding that those NGOs are aware of the decision since January 2017. “They have got sufficient time to make necessary corrections,” he says.

Mr. Niyongabo says a short time will be extended to those which will have been late in abiding by the law. Otherwise, he says, sanctions will be imposed.

Burundi Senate has already carried out such survey among security forces and other public institutions. “The constitutional balance was respected in some services. For the security forces, if the ethnic balance in the constitution is not respected, they will recruit an extra number of missing ethnic group members for the next year and vice versa”, he says.

Asked if the decision would be targeting NGOs from Western countries, the spokesman for Burundi Senate has said the relationship between Burundi and the European Union is good.

Some foreign NGOs operating in Burundi have started to recruit in accordance with constitutional ethnic balance requirements. “Some staff members have been fired following this decision”, says anonymously an employee from one foreign NGO.

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