8 November 2017

Burundi: Police Intercept 13 People 'Victims of Human Trafficking'

Burundi Police have arrested 12 young women and a man, this 8 November, between Bugarama and Bukeye localities in Muramvya central province saying they are victims of human trafficking. "It was around 8:00 a.m. when the police stopped two buses carrying passengers and arrested 13 Burundians going to Oman through Kampala", says Pierre Nkurikiye, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Public Security.

He says they have been driven back to Bujumbura for investigation. "The investigation already conducted reveals that one of them was involved in human trafficking. The police are going to conduct further investigations in order to dismantle the organization of people involved in human trafficking", he says.

Mr Nkurikiye says the police are not operating in collusion with any institution or person involved in human trafficking even though the victims possess passports delivered by the police of air and border-PAFE.

"Human trafficking generates much money the reason why it often resumes despite police effort to stop it," he says.

The Federation for Human Rights and Children Rights-FENADEB appreciates the work done by the police especially by arresting a person allegedly involved in the trafficking of Burundian girls. Jacques Nshimirimana, FENADEB chairman, says this shows the commitment of Burundi government to fight the phenomenon of human trafficking in Burundi.

He, however, exhorts the government to set up a National Monitoring Commission on human trafficking as provided for by the 2014 Trafficking in Persons Act (Prevention and Suppression). "The government should seriously punish the perpetrators of this crime in accordance with the Special Law on the Suppression of Trafficking in Persons in Burundi", he says.

According to the investigation conducted by FENADEB, 38 cases of trafficking in persons have been reported since June 2017. The most affected provinces are Rumonge, Muyinga and Makamba.

Since February 2016, Burundi human rights organizations have denounced the trafficking of young Burundian girls and women to some Middle East countries namely Oman, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The civil society organization-Movement for the Future of Burundi (MCA) said over 2,500 girls have been victims of human trafficking since 2015.

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