“Burundi to welcome national deportees, not foreigners”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced, in a news conference on June 22, that Burundi will never receive deportees who are not Burundians. This announcement is made following the decision of US Department of Homeland Security to impose visa sanctions on Burundi.

Minister Ezéckiel Nibigira: « Burundi is ready to welcome its expelled nationals”

Ezéchiel Nibigira, Minister of Foreign Affairs says Burundi is aware of the US decision to deport all illegal people including Burundians. He, however, says Burundi will never receive deported people who are not Burundians. “We have discovered that among the nationals expelled there are people who are not Burundians”, he says adding that the National Intelligence Service and security forces have conducted investigations to know their identification. Minister Nibigira asks the American government to send these deportees who are not Burundians to their countries of origin. Otherwise, he says, Burundi is ready to welcome all Burundians expelled from that country. He also says Burundi continues talking with the American government to find a win-win solution.

Earlier this week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in coordination with the Department of State, announced the imposition of visa sanctions on Burundi due to the lack of cooperation in accepting its citizens and nationals ordered to leave the United States.
Chad Wolf, acting Secretary of Homeland Security notified the Secretary of State Michael Pompeo that the Government of Burundi had denied or unreasonably delayed accepting its citizens and nationals ordered to leave the United States.

He also said the visa suspension will remain until the Secretary of Homeland Security notifies the Secretary of State that cooperation on deportation has improved to an acceptable level. “As the leadership changes in Burundi, we’re hopeful for a renewed commitment to cooperation between our nations for the benefit of each country’s citizens. We look forward to future discussions to resolve this ongoing issue,” said Secretary Chad F. Wolf.

From June 12, the American government has decided to no longer issue visas to Burundian nationals with the exception of diplomatic visas and those issued to officials of international institutions.