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Census of foreigners sparks fear in Burundi

Census of foreigners sparks fear in Burundi


Burundi’s government has decided to register all foreigners, a move that has sparked fears among overseas nationals living in the country.

According to a public security ministry spokesperson, all non-Burundians will be required to report to border police offices in the coming two months.

The foreigners believe the move could be a pretext for government surveillance and Rwandans in the country say the process could lead to their community being victimised.

“We don’t know how the police will use this data and with the violence that has already struck the Rwandan community… I think that I will also have to leave he country,” said a Rwandan national born in Burundi 40 years ago.

There has been tensed relations between Rwanda and Burundi since the United Nations accused neighbouring Rwanda of training Burundian rebels to oust President Pierre Nkuruziza.

At least 400 people have lost their lives since the country was plunged into turmoil following President Nkurunziza’s bid for a third time in office.

The country’s Public Security Minister however said last month that the move was aimed at granting foreigners biometric ID cards.