Burundi:gov’t bans CSOs

Prominent rights activist Pierre Claver Mbonimpa. The operations of his organization APRODH have been outlawed

Prominent rights activist Pierre Claver Mbonimpa. The operations of his organization APRODH have been outlawed

The Burundi Minister for Home Affairs, Pascal Barandagiye has suspended activities of ten prominent civil society organisations pending investigations into their operations.

In the Ministerial Order issued this Monday, Pascal Barandagiye announced to suspend all activities for the Forum for the Strengthening of Civil Society (FORSC), Forum for awareness and development (FOCODE), Maison Shalom, and Association for the protection of Human Rights and Detained Persons (APRODH) of the prominent rights activist Pierre-Claver Mbonimpa.

Mr. Mbonimpa is recovering in Belgium after surviving an assassination attempt in August. His son was recently gunned down in Bujumbura.

Other groups include PARCEM, AMINA, Christian Action for the Abolition of Torture (ACAT), Fontaine Isoko, RCP (Network of honest citizens) and SPPDF (Partners in Synergy for the Promotion of Women’s Rights).

The decision comes days after the Public Prosecutor requested the Belgian government to extradite several political and civil society activists accusing them of having fermenting the current crisis hitting the country.

Nearly all the suspended organisations played a leading a significant role in the protests against the President Nkurunziza’s third term bid.

The government has also blocked bank accounts belonging to some of the leaders of these groups.

It is not clear how long will the investigations take. It should be noted that after the May 13 failed coup in Burundi, the government banned about five independent media outlets accusing them of conniving with the coup leaders to overthrow the president. These media stations have not been reopened 6 months after they were shut down