Food security: To support its programme for the production and distribution of quality seeds to vulnerable families, the FAO/Emergency and Rehabilitation Coordination Unit (ERCU) started the rehabilitation of community storage warehouses in various provinces. This activity which first began in 2004 with financial support from Belgium and Sweden is undertaken in collaboration with provincial agricultural and livestock departments and FAO/ERCU partner NGOs involved in the food security sector. This year a total of 26 community storage warehouses will be refurbished. The added value for such an operation is that seeds produced can eventually be sold at low prices or consumed. This also enables better quality control of seeds by relevant services in the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.
Repatriation of Burundian refugees
During the reporting week, UNHCR registered a total of 48 Burundian returnees. This number includes facilitated returnees from Tanzania (13) and those who arrived by plane from Zambia (29), Kenya (5) and Ivory Coast (1). Since the beginning of this year, 3,236 Burundian refugees have returned to their homeland. There are still more than 300,000 Burundian refugees in Tanzania, and more than 17,000 in the DRC.
Sexual gender-based violence (SGBV): An increase in the number of SGBV cases has been reported in several areas throughout the country. Over the reporting week, two primary school girls from the communes of Gihanga (Bubanza province) and Buganda (Cibitoke province) were raped. This crime was blamed on a policeman and a soldier. According to the 2006 report on the human rights situation in Burundi issued by Ligue Iteka (a human rights association), 1,930 cases of sexual violence were recorded in 2006. According to the Iteka representative, Jean Marie Vianney Kavumbagu, the majority of victims were children younger than 12. The report reveals that contrary to preceding years where sexual violence was mainly blamed on the military and rebel groups, 63.2 percent of rape cases are now blamed on neighbors and sometimes close relatives. Iteka ligue urges families not to shield perpetrators of rape from justice, citing the case of a 12-year-old victim whose father accepted 60,000 francs (US$60) from the perpetrator to drop the case.
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