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Indigenous Burundians are called on to no longer humiliate themselves and join cooperatives


Aug 14, 2022

GITEGA August 11th (ABP) – The Vice President of the Republic of Burundi, Mr. Prosper Bazombanza, honored with his presence on Tuesday August 09, 2022, the ceremonies marking the celebration of the International Indigeneous Peoples Day, 2022 edition.

That day was celebrated at the Ingoma stadium in Gitega (Center of the country) under the theme: “The role of indigenous women in the preservation and transmission of traditional knowledge”.

In his speech, Hon. Alfred Nahingejeje who represented the indigenous people of Burundi said that most of them live in precarious conditions and do not have arable land like other Burundians, which, according to him, pushes most Batwa to beg, to drop out of schools for children or to steal due to lack of food.

Mr. Nahingejeje further underlined that there are a large number of Batwa imprisoned, accused of stealing food but who have never had a lawyer and who have not yet appeared in court to be heard. Faced with those challenges, Mr. Nahingejeje asked the government of Burundi to allocate arable land to the Batwa, to build decent housing for them, to set up a solidarity fund which could finance their projects, to provide their children with free schooling up to university and to set up the boarding system in all the schools built for the Batwa. Mr. Nahingejeje also pleaded for the release of Batwa prisoners.

                                                                                                 View of the participants

In his speech, the Vice President of the Republic asked that community to no longer humiliate themselves but rather to team up into cooperatives and carry out sustainable development work like other Burundians. According to him, the government of Burundi will spare no effort to improve their living conditions. To that end, Mr. Bazombanza asked communal administrators and provincial governors to allocate plots to the Batwa, if any, around peace villages.

Vice President Bazombanza also asked them to assign unused State properties to users, while respecting the standards governing that policy. He also pointed out that the government of Burundi has decided that any student from the Batwa community who succeeds in the 9th year competition will be oriented to a boarding school, the closest to them.

The Vice President took that opportunity to advise the Batwa to avoid marriages between people of close kinship to avoid consanguinity.