Over eighty foreign NGOs re-registered

Three months after the government decided to suspend foreign NGOs operating in Burundi, the Ministry of Home Affairs says it has already re-registered 84 of them.

Tharcisse Niyongabo: “If there is an NGO which is not ready to comply with the law, it hasn’t any place in Burundi.”

Tharcisse Niyongabo, Assistant to the Minister of Home Affairs says 84 foreign NGOs are already re-registered after three months of suspension. “The deadline was set on 31 December and no NGO requested a special exemption. 84 foreign NGOs are sufficient for Burundi,” told Niyongabo to Radio Isanganiro journalist.

He says some NGOs have asked for a dialogue with the ministry of Home Affairs but their concerns were irrelevant. “They would like to negotiate the law governing NGOs in Burundi. Nothing can be changed. These NGOs must abide by the existing law. If there is an NGO which is not ready to do so, it hasn’t any place in Burundi,” he says.

In the public conference that the Burundian President held this 28 December, he said that if there were an NGO asking for additional time, its case would be analyzed.

On 26 September, the National Security Council decided to suspend all foreign NGOs operating in Burundi from October 1st. They were accused of not abiding by the law and were required to submit four documents in order to resume their activities.

Those documents are the cooperation agreement signed with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the protocol on the implementation of the law governing NGOs in accordance with the National Development Plan, the agreement to respect the banking regulation in force in Burundi regarding foreign exchange as well as the progressive plan to correct the constitutional imbalance.

About 130 foreign NGOs were identified by the Ministry of Home Affairs before being suspended. Among them, 75 are from eleven the European Union countries while 31 others are from the USA.