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Burundi, Landmine Monitor Report 2006


Key developments since May 2005: Burundi stated that rebels continue to use antipersonnel mines. A general survey was initiated in mid-2005 to determine the extent of contamination by mines and explosive remnants of war. DanChurchAid cleared 1,998 square meters of land, reducing the contaminated area by a further 15.5 square kilometers in 2005. Handicap International trained 255 mine risk education volunteers, who reached nearly 37,000 beneficiaries.

Mine Ban Policy

The Republic of Burundi signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 3 December 1997, ratified it on 22 October 2003, and became a State Party on 1 April 2004. Burundi has not enacted national implementation legislation. In November 2004, Burundi stated that its “immediate object is to develop and adopt national legislation.”[1] In November 2005, Burundi said legislation was being considered.[2]

Burundi submitted its third Article 7 transparency report on 11 May 2006, covering the period from 1 May 2005 to 30 April 2006.[3]

Burundi participated in the Sixth Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in Zagreb, Croatia in November-December 2005. It made a statement during the General Exchange of Views, and also intervened during the sessions on stockpile destruction and victim assistance. Burundi attended the intersessional Standing Committee meetings in June 2005 and May 2006; it did not make any statements during the May meeting.

Burundi has not yet made known its views on key matters of interpretation and implementation related to Articles 1, 2 and 3 of the Mine Ban Treaty, which have been under discussion by States Parties for several years. In particular, this concerns the issues of joint military operations with non-States Parties, antivehicle mines with sensitive fuzes or antihandling devices, and the permissible number of mines retained for training.

Burundi is not a party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons.

Production, Transfer, and Stockpiling

Burundi states that it has never produced antipersonnel mines.[4] It is not known to have exported antipersonnel mines.

In all of its Article 7 reports, Burundi declared a stockpile of 1,212 POMZ-2M antipersonnel mines. This included 1,200 mines held by the Armed Forces and 12 from the former armed opposition, Conseil National pour la Défense de la Démocratie-Forces pour la Défense de la Démocratie (CNDD-FDD).[5] The reports stated that inventories of stocks were still in progress and the number of mines held by different forces remained to be confirmed.[6]

As of June 2006, the destruction of stockpiled antipersonnel mines had not yet begun. Burundi’s treaty-mandated deadline for completion of stockpile destruction is 1 April 2008.

In December 2005, UN peacekeepers in Burundi reportedly destroyed thousands of weapons handed over by five former Hutu rebel groups, including some mines.[7]

Burundi has indicated that decisions about mines retained for training, as permitted under Article 3, can only be taken once the inventory is completed.[8] Since August 2001, Burundi has repeatedly stated that it has a stockpile of only 1,200 antipersonnel mines, and that the mines are kept solely for training purposes.[9] In June 2005, Burundi said that the mines were used for training in military demining techniques, and can be used for destroying other mines and unexploded ordnance.[10] The CNDD-FDD has called for complete destruction of stockpiles, including those mines kept for training purposes.[11]


Since the Mine Ban Treaty entered into force for Burundi on 1 April 2004, there has been one notable allegation of use of antipersonnel mines by the army. Landmine Monitor has been unable to confirm the allegation. On 24 June 2005, two people were killed when an antipersonnel mine exploded close to a military position on Kirambwe hill, in the commune of Mpanda, Bubanza province, about 10 kilometers from Bujumbura. The administrator of Mpanda, Fidèle Nyonkuru, said he thought the mine was laid by the new Burundi army, and he asked the army to clear the mines it had emplaced around its military posts before leaving.[12]

Credible allegations of mine use by government forces in the past have come from a variety of sources, and have been cited in previous editions of the Landmine Monitor.[13] Burundi officials have regularly denied such allegations, and have invited the international community to conduct a fact-finding investigation.[14]

In March 2006, an army general told Landmine Monitor that in the late 1990s, the National Army mined Ntahangwa valley between Mutanga South and North, in order to protect Bujumbura against rebel infiltrations; he said the army had maps of the mined areas.[15]

Non-State Armed Groups

In June 2005, a representative of the Ministry of Defense said that use of antipersonnel mines and booby-traps by the Party for the Liberation of the Hutu People-National Liberation Front (Parti pour la Libération du Peuple Hutu- Front National de Libération, Paliphutu-FNL) was ongoing, especially in Bujumbura Rural province.[16]

In May 2006, an army spokesperson said that the FNL was using antipersonnel mines to protect its positions in Kibira forest in the northwestern province of Bubanza. He said two army soldiers were injured by FNL-laid mines during an offensive against the rebels.[17] A Ministry of Defense official expressed the view that every new incident and casualty is the result of new use, because the country is so crowded.[18]

Negotiations on a permanent end to hostilities between the government of Burundi and the Paliphutu-FNL started on 29 May 2006 in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, facilitated by the South African government. These negotiations are under the auspices of a forum established by the heads of state of the Great Lakes, known as the Regional Initiative on Burundi.

Mine and ERW Problem

Burundi’s mine and explosive remnants of war (ERW)[19] problem stems from mine use by the national army and armed groups during years of internal conflict.[20] The extent and nature of the problem is not known.[21] However, a national community survey of mine/ERW contamination which was three-quarters complete by 1 February 2006, revealed that 15 percent of communes surveyed were affected by mines and ERW, and between 8 and 12 percent of the population continues to live in high-risk areas, despite explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) tasks carried out in the course of the survey. [22]

Minefields are scattered throughout the country, but the threat appears to consist mainly of extensive barrier minefields along the border with Tanzania, particularly in the south of Makamba province, and in Rutana and Ruyigi provinces. Mines have also been used to prevent access to areas, such as the Kibira National Park, in the province of Bubanza, which was a rebel stronghold. Minefields also exist along the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo in Cibitoke province.[23] Mines and ERW are also said to affect Bujumbura Rural province, including the immediate vicinity of Bujumbura City in the Ntahangwa valley as a result of fighting in July 2003.[24] None of the parties involved in the armed conflict are believed to have kept records of their mine-laying.[25] Continuing security problems prevented the 2005-2006 general survey of mine/ERW contamination from covering Bujumbura Rural and areas next to Kibira National Park.[26]

The UN has claimed that available data indicates that mines have the greatest impact on returning refugees and internally displaced people, and associated humanitarian relief efforts.[27] Most mine and ERW incidents in Burundi are said to be caused by hand-grenades in the east of the country.[28]

In 2004, there was a surge in the number of new casualties on the border with Tanzania, partly because of an influx of spontaneously returning refugees.[29] In the first nine months of 2005, 49,564 refugees returned from Tanzania and Rwanda. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) forecast that some 150,000 refugees might return in 2006. The number of internally displaced people living in camps decreased from 145,000 in 170 sites in 2004, to 117,000 in 160 sites countrywide in 2005.

Mine Action Program

National Mine Action Authority: The Department of Civil Protection and Disaster Prevention (DCP), located within the Ministry of Interior and Public Security, has been responsible for mine action. According to its Article 7 reports for 2004 and 2005, the Ministry for Interior and Public Security was designated as the responsible authority.[30] In March 2006, the UN Operation in Burundi (Opération des Nations Unies au Burundi, ONUB) announced plans to “transfer to the Government all regulatory authority and coordination responsibility for mine action activities by 1 July 2006, provided that the Government passes the necessary legislation to assign responsibility for coordination of the humanitarian mine action process.”[31]

It was planned that, by 1 July, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) would assume all responsibility for UN mine action activities in Burundi, in particular assistance with technical advice and resource mobilization. Until then, ONUB activities would include: technical assistance to the government and other partners for formulating an integrated multi-year mine action strategy and action plan, national mine action standards and a policy on mine clearance; and technical advice and training to enhance the operational capacities of national and international actors in this area.[32] ONUB also continued to carry out mine clearance and EOD in affected areas, and provided safety training to humanitarian workers.

According to its September 2005 and May 2006 Article 7 reports, Burundi planned to “soon publish documents relating to the implementation and operation of a national structure, ‘National Center for the Coordination of Humanitarian Action Against Mines and Unexploded Ordnance,’ in order to regulate the national coordination of action against mines and unexploded ordnance, and a National Commission of Humanitarian Action Against Mines and Unexploded Ordnance in the Republic of Burundi comprised of representatives of the concerned Ministries, agencies of the United Nations, donors, and NGOs.”[33] The relevant documents have been under government review since 2004. According to the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS), they were urgently required in order to allow the UN to transfer mine action to national responsibility.[34]

Mine Action Center: A UN Mine Action Coordination Center (UNMACC) was established as part of ONUB in June 2004. The objective was to plan and coordinate all mine action activities in support of the operational needs of ONUB, and to assist national authorities and other partners in coordinating and implementing emergency mine action in support of humanitarian relief activities within Burundi, including the repatriation of refugees and internally displaced people.[35]

In late 2005, however, it was reported that UNMACC would become a national coordinating body, rather than purely a UN coordinating center as originally envisaged. This national center would come into being in two phases, first by establishing itself within the government, then by changing the mine action program from “UN-managed” to “UN-supported.”[36] The mine action program was planned to function under the auspices of UNDP as of July 2006.[37]

As of May 2006, the formal establishment of the national mine action center awaited the government’s issuing of relevant decrees. However, UNMACC reported that it had trained national staff to take over responsibility with minimum external assistance.[38] A support project was developed to assist the government in its efforts to assume an increasing role in the national coordination of the mine action process.[39] The process was described as UNMAS, UNDP and UNMACC joining “forces in 2006 to establish a national mine action centre,” which would assume responsibility for mine action in the country and build local capacities to pave the way for national ownership of the humanitarian mine action program.[40]

As of mid-2006, there was no national mine action legislation in Burundi, and no national mine action standards or standing operating procedures. The adoption of national standards was considered a priority for 2006 by UNMACC. According to UNMAS, the standards developed by UNMACC to guide its own work could easily be endorsed as national standards. [41]

Strategic Planning and Progress

A draft strategic plan, prepared by UNMACC in 2005, remained the basis for the program as of May 2006. Progress in implementing the strategy awaited formalization of the national mine action bodies and their agreement to the strategic plan.[42]

According to the UN Portfolio of Mine Action Projects for 2006, key priorities were:

  • Strengthening a comprehensive mine information database upon which to establish a sound national strategy;
  • Establishing national standards and a quality assurance capacity;
  • Reducing the impact of the mine/UXO threat, especially to the most vulnerable; and,
  • Enhancing governmental capacity for mine action coordination and policy-making.[43]

UNMAS stated slightly different priorities for 2006:

  • Coordinate clearance to return productive land to 10 communes on the Tanzanian border;
  • Obtain reliable data on the extent and nature of the mine and ERW problem;
  • Prevent casualties among returning refugees and internally displaced people;
  • Support the safe deployment of ONUB;
  • Work with local authorities and UNDP to establish a national mine action center and build national mine action capacity.[44]

Summary of Efforts to Comply with Article 5

Under Article 5 of the Mine Ban Treaty, Burundi must destroy all antipersonnel mines in mined areas under its jurisdiction or control as soon as possible, but no later than 1 April 2014. UNMAS stated that the deadline is “absolutely realistic; it is the opinion of UNMACC that, should appropriate funding be available, Burundi could be free of the impact of mines/ERW by 2009.”[45]

Critical to the success of mine action in Burundi and the achievement of the Article 5 commitment, will be the development of effective national institutions to manage and coordinate mine action. Formalization of national mine action structures has been awaited since October 2004. When this is done, national capacity-building is expected to take at least until 2008-2009.[46]


There were two international NGOs conducting demining in Burundi in 2005-2006, DanChurchAid and the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD).

Identification of Mined Areas: Surveys and Assessments

Given the lack of knowledge of the true nature and impact of the mine/ERW problem in Burundi, UNMACC decided to commission a “general community survey” in 2005.[47] FSD initiated the survey in April 2005, deploying three international staff in support of six survey teams. The survey was completed in May 2006 except for areas (Bujumbura Rural province and near the Kibira National Park) to which safe access had not been secured.[48] During 2005, 11 provinces were surveyed, two of which were considered to be potentially mined, Ruyigi and Rutana on the eastern border with Tanzania.[49] Twenty spot EOD tasks were completed during the survey, which were reported to have allowed the use of 35 percent of agricultural land along the Tanzanian border.[50]

DanChurchAid executed an impact survey in Makamba province, at the collines (hill) and sous-collines (sub-hill) levels. By March 2006, it had conducted 661 field visits, covering 331 sous-collines and 67 collines. The survey teams produced 193 dangerous area reports (17 identifying mined areas and 176 identifying UXO-suspected areas). Considerable quantities of UXO identified during the survey were also destroyed by the EOD team.[51]

According to UNMACC, data collected by February 2006 from 1,730 collines in nine provinces (66 percent of the 2,615 hills in Burundi) had identified 119 mine/ERW hazardous areas, mostly in the southeast of the country bordering Tanzania.[52]

Marking and Fencing

Mine/ERW-affected areas in Burundi are generally not marked or fenced. DanChurchAid has not carried out marking or fencing as a stand-alone activity.[53] UNMACC planned to mark dangerous areas as part of the FSD mine/ERW clearance projects due to start in June 2006, and “depending on the level of priority given to certain areas.”[54]

Mine and ERW Clearance

Only DanChurchAid cleared mines or ERW in 2005. It carried out clearance operations on 1,998 square kilometers of land, destroying 31 UXO and 667 items of abandoned explosive ordnance, and during 356 EOD tasks area-reduced/cancelled 15.5 square kilometers of land, during which one antipersonnel mine was destroyed.

Initially, DanChurchAid undertook a clearance task in Gatwe identified by the survey team, then in May started clearance operations in Makamba province. With more survey data gathered, DanChurchAid decided to change its approach so that in addition to mine clearance, EOD tasks also started to be carried out in October 2005. DanChurchAid’s two clearance teams also carried out EOD when requested during the impact survey.[55]

There were no demining casualties in 2005 or January-April 2006.[56]

In 2006, according to UNMACC, demining operations in Burundi would focus on clearance of “landmines and ERW from 10 mine-affected communes along the Tanzanian border, over approximately 120,000 square meters of cleared land.”[57]

FSD planned to recruit and train national staff in June 2006, then start clearance in the provinces of Ruyigi and Rutana on the border with Tanzania. Coordinated and tasked by UNMACC in Bujumbura, the project would mainly consist of “National Rapid Response Capacity” (four teams) executing technical survey, clearance of high and medium priorities, EOD, mapping/marking; and community liaison (two teams) to raise public awareness before, during and after the clearance process, ensure proper handover of cleared areas to the local authorities/population, and confirm or discredit suspected hazardous areas in Ruyigi/Rutana. The phase in June-December 2006 was to be executed in the provinces of Ruyigi and Rutana. The project was funded bilaterally by Switzerland and Japan through UNMAS.[58]

Mine Risk Education

International organizations active in mine risk education (MRE) in 2005 included Handicap International (HI) and UNICEF. DanChurchAid provided MRE to Burundian refugees in western Tanzania.[59]

UNMACC’s priorities included assisting “the government with UNICEF and other organizations in developing a nationwide mine risk education programme.”[60] Jointly with UNICEF, it trained and equipped 26 MRE community agents from two national NGOs (Association pour la Paix, l’Education et le Développement, ASSOPED and Assistance aux Victimes des Mines, AVMIN). UNMACC provided safety briefings to ONUB staff and humanitarian aid workers. In April 2006, UNICEF and UNMACC co-facilitated training of 75 primary school teachers; it was planned to train an additional 215 teachers and 120 school directors and provincial supervisors from the Ministry of Education in MRE. UNICEF, in close collaboration with UNMACC, developed and produced MRE materials including T-shirts and cartoons, in order to support community-based MRE capacities.[61]

HI’s 14-month MRE and survivor assistance program started in April 2005, in the most affected provinces of Makamba, Rutana, Ruyigi and Cankuzo, on the border with Tanzania. The MRE component sought to reach 169,000 refugees, 30,000 internally displaced people, 400,000 local people and around 500 humanitarian workers, by a “direct and participatory approach, specifically directed towards children, to create a culture of attention and adequate behavior....”[62] HI reportedly began delivering its MRE program in the four provinces in April 2005.[63] By March 2006, 255 MRE agents had been recruited from community leaders and trained, and nearly 37,000 people had been reached in 948 sessions.[64]

Funding and Assistance

Landmine Monitor estimated that a total of US$2,270,595 was contributed by three countries and the European Commission (EC) for mine action in Burundi in 2005, a large increase from 2004 ($1,096,082).[65] Donors reporting funding in 2005 included:

  • Belgium: €575,837 ($716,860), consisting of €501,742 ($624,619) to DanChurchAid for demining in Makamba province and €74,095 ($92,241) to HI for physical rehabilitation;[66]
  • Canada: C$189,400 ($156,335), consisting of C$140,000 ($115,559) to HI for victim assistance and C$49,400 ($40,776) to UNDP for support and technical assistance;[67]
  • EC: €1 million ($1,244,900) to DanChurchAid;[68]
  • Switzerland: CHF190,000 ($152,500) to FSD for mine clearance.[69]

In addition, the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Assistance in Mine Action reported a contribution of $100,000 from the UK in 2005.[70] This amount has not been included in Landmine Monitor’s estimate of total funding.

Burundi received $4,537,540 (73 percent) of its total appeal of $6,202,953 through the 2005 UN Portfolio of Mine Action Projects.[71]

FSD had expressed doubts in 2004 whether its program would continue, due to uncertainties about funding. However, contributions increased substantially in 2005 (CHF1,248,535, or $967,332), compared with 2004 (CHF388,679, or $341,816). In addition to continued funding by Switzerland, FSD received CHF1,001,042 ($775,581) from the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS).[72] In 2005, UNOPS, on behalf of UNMAS, received $1,421,373 in peacekeeping assessed funds for mine action in Burundi.[73]

Landmine/UXO Casualties

UNMACC provided information on 11 mine/UXO casualties in 2005.[74] However, UNMACC previously informed Landmine Monitor that there were 61 new casualties recorded in 2005.[75] These numbers represent significant decreases from the 320 new civilian mine/UXO casualties reported in 2004; however, comparisons may not be valid, as the 2004 data included casualties from causes other than mines and UXO, and data-collection in 2005 may have been inadequate.

The casualty data for 2005, which UNMACC was able to provide, referred to one woman killed and 10 males injured (including six children); most casualties occurred in Bujumbura Rural province.[76] According to HI, hand-grenades were the cause of UXO casualties in eastern Burundi.[77] In November 2005, in Bubanza province, a news program on Radio Sans Frontières Bonesha-FM claimed that 23 students were injured at Bubanza secondary school by unidentified ERW.[78]

In 2005, Médecins Sans Frontières-Belgium recorded four mine casualties, three UXO and 128 grenade casualties receiving treatment in its Center for the Lightly Injured in Bujumbura Mairie.[79]

Casualties continued to be reported in 2006, with at least 11 casualties by 1 June 2006. UNMACC reported seven casualties as of 27 May 2006, all of them injured in Gitega province (four children, one woman and two men).[80] Additionally, Landmine Monitor recorded an incident in early February when a soldier was injured by an antipersonnel mine after fighting in the commune of Musigati in Bubanza province.[81] On 30 April 2006, a grenade exploded in a fishing canoe, injuring one person.[82] On 23 May, two soldiers were injured in Kibira forest, in Bubanza province.[83]

As of May 2006, UNMACC recorded 1,871 mine/UXO casualties since 1993, including 750 civilians (55 percent male, 20 percent female and 25 percent children) and 1,121 military personnel.[84]

Survivor Assistance

At the First Review Conference in November-December 2004, Burundi was identified as one of 24 States Parties with significant numbers of mine survivors, and with “the greatest responsibility to act, but also the greatest needs and expectations for assistance” in providing adequate services for the care, rehabilitation and reintegration of survivors.[85] Burundi participated in the Workshop on Advancing Landmine Victim Assistance in Africa, in Nairobi, Kenya on 31 May-2 June 2005; the workshop aimed to help States Parties fulfill the Nairobi Action Plan’s victim assistance aims.

At the Sixth Meeting of States Parties in November-December 2005, Burundi declared that no progress had been made in assisting landmine survivors. It stated that efforts to integrate landmine survivors were needed and survivor assistance programs should be integrated into global health, education, poverty reduction, economic, and national reconstruction projects.[86] Burundi did not prepare objectives for inclusion in the Zagreb Progress Report.

Burundi did not provide an update to the Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration in May 2006. Burundi has acknowledged previously that, of all its treaty obligations, victim assistance is “the weakest link in the chain”[87] and that “everything remains to be done.”[88]

Following its assessment mission in November 2004, UNMAS drafted a national victim assistance strategy.[89] As of May 2006, the strategy did not seem to be operational and the necessary national structures were not in place.[90]

UNMACC aimed to establish a comprehensive victim assistance program by supporting existing programs for people with disabilities and landmine survivors via referral and financial support, as defined in the UNMAS strategy. Other priorities included a comprehensive information database, capacity-building, mainstreaming mine action into the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper and development plans of relevant ministries, assisting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the UN Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities, and assisting Burundi’s participation in relevant treaty meetings.[91] In 2005, the UNMACC office employed two people with disabilities, including one landmine survivor.[92]

According to the government, medical care is available at 35 hospitals and 483 health centers, mainly in urban areas, but most facilities are in need of renovation.[93] Approximately 80 percent of the population lives within five kilometers of a healthcare facility. However, the availability of qualified staff, basic medical supplies and medicines is limited. Cost recovery schemes limit access to services for poor people; it is estimated that 50 to 90 percent of people take on debts or sell assets to pay for medical services.[94] The government distributes cards for people displaced by the war, including people with disabilities, which give access to free healthcare; however, the card is not accepted everywhere and does not cover costs such as medication.[95]

Emergency care at the site of a mine incident and prompt transport to the nearest health facility are almost non-existent.[96]

Many hospitals do not have the staff or equipment to carry out emergency surgery. The referral system does not function due to a lack of communication and emergency transport.[97] There are no orthopedic surgeons in Burundi.[98] Five hospitals can provide specialized care for mine casualties, but four of these are in the capital, Bujumbura. Serious cases are sent to hospitals in Kenya or South Africa. Physiotherapy and orthopedic services are limited.[99]

The “inter-agency health access and essential package program” (ECP) agreed in July 2004 between the government, UNHCR, UNICEF and the World Health Organization, expanded in August 2005 to cover 16 provinces and 312 health centers. It includes the provision of equipment and medicines, training and referral services for returning refugees, as well as prevention and reproductive health campaigns. Priority areas for improvement of healthcare were also included in the Common Humanitarian Action Plan 2006.[100]

Médecins Sans Frontières-Belgium supported several health centers and hospitals in Karuzi and Ruyigi provinces and in Bujumbura with technical advice, training and supplies and equipment. In May 2005, it stopped support to Makamba Hospital and support to Kamenge Hospital (Bujumbura Mairie) was scheduled to stop at the end of March 2006.[101] Until June 2005, Médecins Sans Frontières-France (MSF) conducted programs in Burundi.[102]

In 2006, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) started to reimburse the cost of treatment of war-injured.[103]

Handicap International’s program to assist people with disabilities, including war victims and mine survivors, supported five rehabilitation centers in 2005 by supplying equipment and material, production of technical aids, and training of technicians and physiotherapists. The total number of people assisted in the centers increased by nearly 52 percent over three years, from 2,163 in 2002 to 3,277 in 2005. The number of people assisted in the orthopedic workshops also increased from 757 in 2002 to a yearly average of almost 1,600 between 2003 and 2005. The workshops produced an average of 1,626 appliances per year and on average, 33,453 therapy sessions were offered in the different rehabilitation centers. In 2005, HI offered training to 69 people, including 24 orthopedic technicians and 42 physiotherapists, and three people received IT training. Two orthopedic specialists also received a three-year scholarship.[104] In early 2005, HI initiated a 14-month assistance program for people with disabilities in the most mine-affected provinces of Makamba, Rutana, Ruyigi and Cankuzo, on the border with Tanzania. The direct beneficiaries were approximately 400 people in need of physiotherapy, and 250 people in need of lower limb prostheses and crutches.[105]

The Indian NGO Help Handicapped International, with support from the Rotary Club of Bujumbura, operated the Jaipur Foot Center in Bujumbura.[106]

Programs for psychosocial support and socioeconomic reintegration are limited. People with disabilities have limited access to education, especially in rural areas where schools can be long distances away. Vocational training is also provided, but is not always of good quality. There are various micro-credit initiatives, but they do not target people with disabilities.[107]

The neuro-psychiatric hospital of Kamenge is the only hospital that treats people with war trauma.[108] The local NGO Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Services (THARS) provides counseling and psychosocial support to war-traumatized people; in 2005, it provided services to 359 people including five mine survivors. Seven psychologists work in the organization.[109] Other organizations providing psychosocial support include the Association for Support to Mine Victims (AVMIN) and the Burundian Association for Assistance of the Physically Disabled.[110]

At the national level, Saint Kizito Institute in Bujumbura provides education and vocational training for children with physical disabilities. The government runs the National Center for Socio-professional Reintegration which provides some vocational training.[111]

The UNHCR, in cooperation with other organizations, supports income-generating projects and runs short-term vocational skills training to help Burundian refugees. Women are given priority on these projects; it is not known if people with disabilities or landmine survivors have benefited.[112]

In 2005, the Union of Disabled Persons (Union de Personnes Handicapées du Burundi, UPHB) organized lobbying activities and supported people living with disabilities in getting orthopedic appliances and equipment. In 2005, 1,500 people took part in UPHB activities.[113]

The UN Portfolio of Mine Action Projects for 2006 included four proposals for victim assistance activities in Burundi, including projects to increase capacity of physical rehabilitation services, raise awareness of the rights of people with disabilities, support local disabled people organizations and develop micro-farming activities.[114]

Disability Policy and Practice

The constitution of Burundi prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities, but no there is no specific disability legislation. Only two laws contain provisions on people with disabilities. Draft legislation on people with disabilities was submitted to the government in February 2004; approval remained pending in early 2006. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Promotion of Women is responsible for issues relating to mine survivors and other people with disabilities.[115]

In 2006, the Syndicate of Mutual of Public Service urged the government to cover healthcare of survivors by providing prostheses free of charge.[116]

There are many disabled people’s organizations in Burundi, but they often lack capacity to implement activities or influence policy.[117]

[1] Article 7 Report, Form A, 8 November 2004.
[2] Statement by Burundi in the General Exchange of Views, Sixth Meeting of States Parties, Zagreb, 28 November 2005 (notes by Landmine Monitor/HRW).
[3] The previous reports were submitted on 8 November 2004 (for 1 April 2004-28 September 2004) and 9 September 2005 (for 1 October 2004-30 April 2005). The first report was due 27 September 2004, the second due 30 April 2005. The November 2004 is not posted on the UN website, but Landmine Monitor has a copy.
[4] Article 7 Reports, Form E, 8 November 2004 and 9 September 2005.
[5] Article 7 Reports, Form B, 8 November 2004, 9 September 2005 and 11 May 2006. The reports note that for 1,200 of the mines, the lot numbers are impossible to identify because of the bad condition of the mines. Statement by Burundi, Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, Geneva, 15 June 2005.
[6] Article 7 Report, Forms D and J, 8 November 2004; Article 7 Report, Form D, 9 September 2005; Article 7 Report, Form B, 11 May 2006. In February 2004, the CNDD-FDD stated that its stockpile was composed of army mines cleared or captured from soldiers. Interview with Gervais Rufyikiri, CNDD-FDD, Bujumbura, 16 February 2004.
[7] “UN Peacekeepers in Burundi Destroy Weapons From Ex-Rebels,” Associated Press (Bujumbura), 27 December 2005. The UN did not reveal details about the types or numbers of weapons.
[8] Article 7 Reports, Form D, 8 November 2004, 9 September 2005 and 11 May 2006.
[9] See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 233. The Article 7 reports submitted in November 2004 and September 2005 support this statement.
[10] Statement by Burundi, Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, Geneva, 15 June 2005; interview with Col. Adrien Ndikuriyo, Ministry of Defense, Geneva, 16 June 2005.
[11] Statement by CNDD-FDD representatives, ICBL/LM regional meeting, Bujumbura, 20 February 2004.
[12] Fidèle Nyonkuru was interviewed on Radio Sans Frontières Bonesha-FM, 27 June 2005. He later told Landmine Monitor that the incident occurred when the casualties were bringing water to the military position. Interview, 19 July 2005.
[13] See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, pp. 234-237; Landmine Monitor Report 2003, pp. 509-512; Landmine Monitor Report 2002, pp. 538-540; Landmine Monitor Report 2001, pp. 199-202; Landmine Monitor Report 2000, pp. 153-154; Landmine Monitor Report 1999, p. 135.
[14] See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 234. Burundi did not respond to Landmine Monitor’s request for comment prior to publication of Landmine Monitor Report 2004 on the allegations of army use in 2003 and early 2004.
[15] Interview with army general who wished to remain anonymous, Bujumbura, March 2006.
[16] Interview with Col. Adrien Ndikuriyo, Ministry of Defense, Geneva, 16 June 2005. Military officials provided additional detail to the NGO Geneva Call in June and October 2005 about both offensive and defensive use of antipersonnel mines and improvised explosive devices by the FNL. See, Geneva Call and PSIO, “Armed Non-State Actors and Landmines,” Vol. 1, 2005, pp. 42-43.
[17] “Burundi army kills 10 rebels in helicopter attack,” Reuters (Bujumbura), 24 May 2006. This was also reported on national radio, Arib News, 25 May 2006, www.arib.info.
[18] Interview with Col. Adrien Ndikuriyo, Ministry of Defense, Geneva, 16 June 2005.
[19] Under Protocol V of the Convention on Conventional Weapons, explosive remnants of war are defined as unexploded ordnance and abandoned explosive ordnance. Mines are explicitly excluded from the definition.
[20] UN, “2006 Portfolio of Mine Action Projects,” New York, p. 77; UN, “Country Profile: Burundi,” 15 December 2005, www.mineaction.org, accessed 20 January 2006; UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS), “Appeal 2006,” undated but 2005, New York, p. 21.
[21] See Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 200.
[22] UN, “Sixth Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Operation in Burundi,” S/2006/163, 21 March 2006, p. 11.
[23] UN, “2006 Portfolio of Mine Action Projects,” New York, p. 77; UNMAS, “Appeal 2006,” New York, p. 21; email from Patrick Tillet, Programme Officer, UNMAS, 5 May 2006; see Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 200.
[24] Interview with senior military commander in Bujumbura requesting anonymity in February 2006; see also Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 200.
[25] See Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 200.
[26] Email from Patrick Tillet, UNMAS, 22 May 2006.
[27] UN, “2006 Portfolio of Mine Action Projects,” New York, p. 77.
[28] Interview with Emma Macia, Coordinator, Mine Risk Education Program, Handicap International (HI), Bujumbura, 20 March 2006.
[29] UNMAS, “Appeal 2006,” New York, p. 21.
[30] Article 7 Reports, Form A, 8 November 2004 and 9 September 2005. Translated by Landmine Monitor.
[31] UN, “Sixth Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Operation in Burundi,” S/2006/163, 21 March 2006, p. 15.
[32] UN, “Sixth Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Operation in Burundi,” S/2006/163, 21 March 2006, pp. 15-16.
[33] Article 7 Reports, Form A, 9 September 2005 and 11 May 2006. Translation by Landmine Monitor.
[34] Email from Patrick Tillet, UNMAS, 5 May 2006.
[35] UN, “2006 Portfolio of Mine Action Projects,” New York, p. 78; see Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 201.
[36] UN, “2006 Portfolio of Mine Action Projects,” New York, p. 78.
[37] Emails from Patrick Tillet, UNMAS, 5 and 22 May 2006.
[38] Email from Patrick Tillet, UNMAS, 5 May 2006.
[39] UN, “2006 Portfolio of Mine Action Projects,” New York, p. 78.
[40] UNMAS, “Appeal 2006,” New York, p. 22.
[41] Email from Patrick Tillet, UNMAS, 5 May 2006.
[42] Ibid, 22 May 2006.
[43] UN, “2006 Portfolio of Mine Action Projects,” New York, p. 77.
[44] UNMAS, “Appeal 2006,” New York, p. 21.
[45] Email from Patrick Tillet, UNMAS, 5 May 2006.
[46] Ibid, 22 May 2006.
[47] UN, “Country Profile: Burundi,” www.minesaction.org.
[48] Interview with Col. Antoine Nimbesha, Chief of Operations, UNMACC, Bujumbura, 13 February 2006; email from Christoph Hebeisen, Programme Manager, FSD, Burundi, 8 May 2006.
[49] FSD, “Annual Report 2005,” draft, May 2006. Full results of the survey had not been released as of June 2006.
[50] UN, “Sixth Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Operation in Burundi,” S/2006/163, 21 March 2006, p. 11.
[51] Email from Eva Veble, Program Officer, DanChurchAid (DCA), 1 May 2006.
[52] Interview with Col. Antoine Nimbesha, UNMACC, Bujumbura, 13 February 2006.
[53] Email from Eva Veble, DCA, 1 May 2006.
[54] Email from Patrick Tillet, UNMAS, 22 May 2006.
[55] Email from Eva Veble, DCA, 1 May 2006.
[56] Ibid; email from Patrick Tillet, UNMAS, 5 May 2006.
[57] UNMAS, “Appeal 2006,” New York, p. 22.
[58] Email from Christoph Hebeisen, FSD, Burundi, 8 May 2006.
[59] See Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 204; See report on Tanzania in this edition of Landmine Monitor.
[60] UN, “Country Profile: Burundi.”
[61] Email from Gopal Sharma, Chief, Child Protection and Rights Promotion, UNICEF Burundi, 13 July 2006.
[62] Email from Juerg Friedli, Programme Director, HI, Burundi, 9 May 2005.
[63] Article 7 Report, Form I, 9 September 2005.
[64] Interview with Emma Macia, HI, Bujumbura, 20 March 2006; see Landmine Monitor Report 2005, pp. 203-204
[65] See Landmine Monitor 2005, p. 204.
[66] Belgium Article 7 Report, Form J, 26 April 2006; email from Dominique Jones, Conseiller, Ministry of Defense, 17 May 2006; email from Stan Brabant, Head, Policy Unit, HI, 26 May 2006. Average exchange rate for 2005: €1 = US$1.2449, used throughout this report. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 3 January 2006.
[67] Mine Action Investments database; email from Carly Volkes, DFAIT, 7 June 2006. Average exchange rate for 2005: US$1 = C$1.2115. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 3 January 2006.
[68] Email from Laura Liguori, Security Policy Unit, Conventional Disarmament, EC, 20 June 2006. The EC reported contributing €1 million ($1,244,900) to DanChurchAid in 2005; €500,000 ($621,900) of this was previously reported for Burundi in Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 204.
[69] Email from Rémy Friedmann, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 28 April 2006. Average exchange rate for 2005: US$1 = CHF1.2459. US Federal Reserve, “List of Exchange Rates (Annual),” 3 January 2006. FSD reported a contribution of CHF210,000 ($168,552) from Switzerland for Burundi in 2005. FSD, “Annual Report 2005,” draft.
[70] UNMAS, “Annual Report 2005,” p. 61.
[71] UNMAS, “2005 Portfolio End-Year Review,” p. 2.
[72] FSD, “Annual Report 2004,” p. 9; FSD, “Annual Report 2005,” pp. 33-34. FSD exchange rate for 2005: US$1 = CHF1.2907; for 2004: US$1 = CHF1.1371.
[73] UNMAS, “Annual Report 2005,” p. 65.
[74] Email from Col. Antoine Nimbesha, UNMACC, 27 May 2006, and telephone interview, 26 May 2006.
[75] Interview with Col. Antoine Nimbesha, UNMACC, Bujumbura, 13 February 2006.
[76] Email from Col. Antoine Nimbesha, UNMACC, 27 May 2006, and telephone interview, 26 May 2006.
[77] Interview with Emma Macia, HI, Bujumbura, 20 March 2006.
[78] Radio Sans Frontières Bonesha-FM, Bujumbura, 1 December 2005.
[79] Email from Brice de le Vingne, Coordinator of Operations Great Lakes, Médecins Sans Frontières, Brussels, 21 June 2006.
[80] Email from Col. Antoine Nimbesha, UNMACC, 27 May 2006
[81] Maj. Adolphe Manirakiza, speaking on African Public Radio, Bujumbura, 3 February 2006.
[82] Incident report on Radio Isanganiro, Bujumbura, 3 May 2006.
[83] “Burundi army kills 10 rebels in helicopter attack,” Reuters (Bujumbura), 24 May 2006; email from Charles Ndayiziga, Coordinator, Centre d’Alerte et de Prévention des Conflits (CENAP), 1 June 2006.
[84] Email from Col. Antoine Nimbesha, UNMACC, 27 May 2006.
[85] UN, “Final Report, First Review Conference of the States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction,” Nairobi, 29 November-3 December 2004, APLC/CONF/2004/5, 9 February 2005, p. 33.
[86] Statement by Burundi, Sixth Meeting of States Parties, Zagreb, 28 November-2 December 2005.
[87] Statement by Burundi, First Review Conference, Nairobi, 29 November-3 December 2004.
[88] Statement by Burundi, Standing Committee on Victim Assistance and Socio-Economic Reintegration, Geneva, 16 June 2005.
[89] See Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 206.
[90] Article 7 Report, Form A, 9 September 2005; email from Patrick Tillet, UNMAS, New York, 5 May 2006.
[91] UN, “2006 Portfolio of Mine Action Projects,” New York, 2006, pp. 78-79.
[92] Ibid, p. 78.
[93] HI, “Country Situation Analysis Burundi,” Brussels, 2005, pp. 10-11.
[94] World Health Organization (WHO), “Health Action in Crises: Burundi,” December 2005, pp. 1-2.
[95] HI, “Country Situation Analysis Burundi,” Brussels, 2005, p. 19.
[96] See Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 206.
[97] WHO, “Health Action in Crises: Burundi,” December 2005, pp. 1-2.
[98] HI, “Country Situation Analysis Burundi,” Brussels, 2005, p. 11.
[99] See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, pp. 242-244.
[100] WHO, “Update on Health and Humanitarian Situation in Burundi,” August 2005, p. 1; WHO, “Health Action in Crises: Burundi,” December 2005, pp. 1-2.
[101] Médecins Sans Frontières, “AZG in Burundi: behandeling van burgers getroffen door oorlog” (“MSF in Burundi: treatment of civilians affected by war”), www.azg.be, accessed 1 June 2006.
[102] See Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 206.
[103] Email from Cédric Schweizer, Deputy Head of Delegation, ICRC, Bujumbura, 10 May 2006.
[104] Email from Pascal Martin, Program Director, HI, Bujumbura, 17 May 2006.
[105] See Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 207.
[106] Ibid, p. 206.
[107] HI, “Country Situation Analysis Burundi,” Brussels, 2005, pp. 14-15, 20.
[108] See Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 207.
[109] Response to Landmine Monitor VA Questionnaire by David Niyonzima, Coordinator, THARS, Bujumbura, 6 May 2006.
[110] See Landmine Monitor Report 2005, pp. 206-207
[111] HI, “Country Situation Analysis Burundi,” Brussels, 2005, p. 14.
[112] “Burundi reintegration to receive $300,000 boost from OPEC,” Reuters, 18 March 2005.
[113] Email from Pierre-Claver Seberege, Legal Representative, UPHB, 20 May 2006.
[114] UN, “2006 Portfolio of Mine Action Projects,” New York, pp. 77-90.
[115] US Department of State, “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices-2005: Burundi,” 8 March 2006; see Landmine Monitor Report 2004, pp. 244-245; Landmine Monitor Report 2005, p. 208.
[116] Spokesperson for the Syndicate, National Radio, Bujumbura, 4 February 2006
[117] HI, “Country Situation Analysis Burundi,” Brussels, 2005, p. 19.