UNHCR suspended assistance to over 2500 asylum seekers in Kamanyola

The Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees-UNHCR has suspended its food assistance to more than 2500 asylum seekers from Burundi since Monday 1January 2018. It intends to stop water supply by the end of this month if they will not accept to be fingerprinted as it requires in its registration system.

Burundian Asylum seekers’ camp in Kamanyola

Burundian Asylum seekers’ camp in Kamanyola

Dionise Nyandwi , the spokesperson for those asylum seekers, says they do not adhere to the way of registration that UNHCR obliges them. “It obliged us to be fingerprinted while our religious belief does not allow us to do so”, he says.

He asks the UNHCR or any other charitable institutions to use other registration methods. “We ask the UNHCR or any other charitable institution to use another registration system and to come to assist us because our belief forbids us to be fingerprinted”, he says.

Nyandwi says they have no right to go outside of the camp to do any activity to earn their living as it was before the September attack. “We used to farm and do other activities to earn our living but after the attack, we were grouped in this camp so that we should be assisted”.

The UNHCR’s decision was taken after Burundian asylum seekers didn’t allow the UNHCR officials to take biometric data for their registration. Therefore, they were given three months (from September to December) to reconsider their choice.

Those asylum seekers are Eusebie Ngendakumana’s followers from Burundi. They are grouped in Kamanyola camp in DRC, South Kivu and say that they fled religious persecution in 2015.