Politicians in exile fear for security after repatriation

Burundian politicians in exile ask Burundi government to strengthen peace and security to encourage repatriation.

Frédéric Bamvuginyumvira: “To date, people are still killed and others threatened and the criminals remain unpunished”.

Politicians in exile say there is no guarantee that people in exile and refugees will be in security once they return to their country. “We fled the country because there were killings and persecution as the first lady has recently said it. So far, people are still killed and others threatened and the criminals are still unpunished. What pushed us to flee the country is not yet resolved,” says Frédéric Bamvuginyumvira, spokesman for CNARED, the platform of opposition politicians in exile.

Mr. Bamvuginyumvira says properties of exiled people are being plundered by those who were supposed to protect them. “The hotel of Jean Minani, a politician in exile, was destroyed. Moreover, everything in my house located in Nyagatovu locality was stolen. Houses of many exiled army officials were pillaged and the administration does nothing to prevent this from happening”.

He asks the government to adopt policies that can guarantee the security of all exiled politicians and refugees so that they can come back. “There is need for the restoration of a climate that favors all exiled politicians and refugees regardless of their political affiliations”.

In his New Year address to the nation, president Nkurunziza has called Burundians in exile and refugees to return to their country in 2019. He asked the countries hosting them and the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to facilitate the repatriation process.