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Burundi Weekly Humanitarian News, 27 Oct - 02 Nov 2008

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Activities and Updates

Coordination

As a follow up to the humanitarian reform workshop held on 23 September 2008, WFP as lead-agency for the logistics cluster (should the cluster approach be activated in Burundi) is carrying out an interagency Logistics Capacity Assessment to gather information pertaining to capacities and needs of government bodies, UN agencies & other humanitarian organisations.

Update on food aid distribution

WFP distributed 611 tons of food assistance to a total of 125,382 beneficiaries. The most important quantities of food (72%) was supplied to food insecure persons in Cankuzo, Karuzi and Kirundo provinces.

The food export ban imposed by Tanzania constitutes a major impediment to WFP operations, due to heavy reliance on purchases from Tanzania. Consequently, the Country Office may experience pipeline shortfalls in almost all commodities starting with cereals and pulses in December 2008. The Country Office is closely monitoring the situation to avert a possible pipeline disruption. Such disruption may lead to temporary suspension of targeted food distributions and interruption of FFW distributions. In parallel, WFP regional Office is assisting in negotiating export bans alleviations.

Human rights

This week, additional cases of harassment against UPD-Zigamibanga party members were reported. In Ngozi and Makamba provinces, assistant prosecutors ordered on [27 Oct.] the release of two UPD-Zigamibanga members arrested on [25 Oct.], as there were no charges filed against them. One of them was in possession of party documents while the other, a school director and unionist, was participating in a peaceful demonstration organised by teachers in Makamba.

During the reporting period, police officials arrested several individuals in connection with a series of demonstrations and rallies initiated by Palipehutu-FNL members or sympathizers. Eleven such persons were detained in Police holding cells, in Muyinga and Bururi provinces, for allegedly distributing leaflets and holding placards during pro-Palipehutu-FNL demonstrations. Police are investigating these cases.

The prisons' rehabilitation program underway has negatively impacted the living conditions of detainees in Gitega and Bururi provinces prisons where numerous inmates were transferred. A female inmate sustained a bullet injury as a result of a brawl in Rumonge central Prison.

Within the framework of the magistrates and other judicial personnel's capacity reinforcement, the HR&JD concluded a five-day training workshop in Gitega Commune and Province. Organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice and the Supreme Court, the training aimed at underlining the causes and consequences of malfunction in the judiciary and their impact on both the administration of justice and the respect of human rights.

With regard to the integrated strategy to fight sexual violence against women and children, the HR&JD organised a five-day workshop in collaboration with the Ministry of Defence in Makamba Commune and Province. Thirty FDN officers from the fifth military region (Makamba, Bururi and Rutana) were in attendance and the training aimed at raising their awareness on sexual violence and strengthening their capacity to promote and protect women and children's fundamental rights, and human rights in general. Meanwhile, HR&JOs held seven awareness raising sessions in six different provinces for a total of 333 participants including 184 men.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.