Kayanza Governor bans ID card distribution to Batwa community

The presence of the US Ambassador at the launching ceremonies of the project to give out ID cards to Batwa community in Muhanga commune of Kayanza Northern Province, on Tuesday 30 January, did not go down well with the Kayanza province administration.

Ambassador Anne Casper in the midst of a Batwa crowd in Muhanga Commune

Ambassador Anne Casper in the midst of a Batwa crowd in Muhanga Commune

Anicet Niyongabo, Governor of Kayanza province decided to suspend the scheduled activities without giving further explanations.

This was the initiative of “Association Espoir des jeunes Batwa” (Hope for young Batwa Association) which consisted of issuing 900 national identity cards to the Batwa people of Muhanga commune. The same project will help couples who live illegally to legalize their marriage. It is supported by the Embassy of the United States of America in Burundi.

According to an anonymous source, the governor was not informed of the US Ambassador’s participation in this activity. He should have been informed by the Ministry of the Interior which supervises provincial administration.

Those Batwa complained about what happened. “Those who should protect us are the ones who are oppressing us” says a Mutwa met on the spot.

Some sources confirm that the US Embassy had previously informed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about this trip but the information would have not been transmitted.

Written by Egide Nikiza and translated by Bella Lucia Nininahazwe