OCHA-Burundi Situation Report 25 - 31 Aug 2003

Situation Report
Originally published
Humanitarian Activities
1. FAO increases aid to 125,000 people in Kayanza Province

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced on Monday [25 August] increased aid to thousands of vulnerable households in the northwestern Burundi Province of Kayanza, where there is significant food insecurity.

FAO said it planned to distribute additional supplies of beans, maize and vegetable seeds to a total of 25,000 households in the province, before the 2004A cropping season begins in September/October 2003. These households, representing some 125,000 people, will also receive farm inputs such as hand hoes, shovels and watering cans. "This increased aid to an additional 5,000 households will make Kayanza Province the largest recipient of FAO inputs in the country", the agency said.

2. WFP food aid distributions

Between 18 and 24 August 2003, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) Country Office (CO) distributed 1,328.599 Mt of food to 104,215 beneficiaries through its different programmes/activities in Gitega, Bujumbura Rural, Karusi, Ruyigi and Ruyigi provinces. A total of 32,822 persons were not assisted due to various reasons:

- In Ruyigi province, 7,072 persons were not assisted due to insecurity;

- In Karusi and Gitega provinces, 11,655 persons were not assisted due pipeline constraints;

- In Kayanza province, 14,095 persons were not assisted because of non- availability of private light trucks that could access the narrow and serpentine roads leading to the planned localities for distribution;

- In Bujumbura Rural Province, WFP Household Food Economy Assessment (HFEA) teams carried out a rapid assessment in Isale commune. The teams reported that the recent fighting that began at the end of July and continued till August caused displacement of people from six hills. The HFEA teams estimated that 5,461 households in that area would only rely on food aid for their living as their homes had been ransacked and their food stocks looted.

- In Bubanza Province, WFP delivered food aid for displaced people from Rugazi and Mpanda communes [28 August].

3. Returnees as at 23 August 2003

UNHCR: Report 19,560 facilitated, 32,686 spontaneous returnees. Total: 52,246 Y.T.D.


4. General

Bubanza Province: Two people found dead [24 August]. According to administrative sources, it is the settling of "old scores".

Kayanza Province: Two armed bandits who passed for CNDD-FDD rebels were captured [24 August].

Several bombs have been launched on the Moso region (including Nyabitsinda and Kinyinya communes) by the Army in an attempt to flush out rebels [24 August].

Bujumbura rural Province: Over seven [7] people have reportedly been killed at Rushubi last week between Thursday [21 August] and Saturday [23 August] in selective ambushes reportedly laid by FNL-Palipehutu rebels.

Ngozi Province: Over ten [10] detainees have escaped from central prison of Kayanza [26 August].

Rebels attacked Yoba and Magarama quarters in Gitega town. No casualties reported but money and households goods have been stolen [25 August].

Two people killed, several houses set ablaze and others looted during the fighting between the Army and CNDD-FDD rebels in Ruyigi Province. Due to the heavy fighting which reportedly continuing until Thursday [28 August]. Large numbers of people sought refuge at Mpungwe chain of mountain.

Bubanza Province: Two children killed, two wounded in a bomb explosion found in an open air.

Bubanza Province: Gunmen stole livestock Thursday morning [28 August].

People from Ruvyagira (Bujumbura Rural Province) fled since 27 August as the military deployed close to the area.


5. UN SC condemns violence against humanitarian workers, adopts resolution 1502 (2003)

The Security Council expressed its strong condemnation of all forms of violence [26 August] against humanitarian staff and urged States to ensure that crimes against such personnel did not go unpunished.

By unanimously adopting resolution 1502 (2003), the Council expressed its determination to take appropriate steps to ensure the safety and security of humanitarian and United Nations personnel, including by the requesting the Secretary-General to seek the inclusion of, and that host countries include, key provisions of the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and its associated personnel. Koffi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said that no issue should be more important to each member of the Council than the safety of those brave men and women who served the Organization in the places where it mattered most, that is, in zones of conflict and danger.

6. Latest events

General Siphiwe Nyanda, South African Army Chief of staff in visit to Burundi [25-27 August]. He believes that things are not progressing as planned, but reaffirms South-African commitment to accompany Burundi until a new national Army is formed.

National Transitional Assembly voted [27 August] the law on provisional immunity over legal proceedings for political leaders who returned from exile (107 for, 12 against, 12 abstentions). The parliamentary group against genocide and exclusion (28 MPs) protests against it.

Third anniversary of the Arusha Accord for peace and reconciliation in Burundi [signed 28 August 2000]. Achievements date from 1 November 2001. The Minister of Justice is satisfied of reforms which have been operated but the trade union for Burundi magistrates threatens to go on strike for an unlimited period commencing Monday 1 September 2003.

The TNGoB welcomes the election of Rwandan President Paul Kagame. President Domitien Ndayizeye sent a congratulatory message Wednesday [27 August]


7. Contact Group Meeting

Mr Sunil Saigal, Humanitarian Coordinator chaired the meeting [27 August]. Participants: 44. UN World Food Programme new Representative attended.

Ms Michele Bradford, Focal Point for Bururi Province (IRC), presented the minutes of their meeting [12 August]. Mr Stefano Severe, UNHCR Delegate for Burundi presented his farewells to the humanitarian community.

Oxfam GB international NGO announces the closure of their project in Makamba Province and their withdrawal from Burundi taking effect early 2004 [Statement .

8. GTS meeting

Held on Monday [25 August]. Participants discussed preparation a two-day mission to Cankuzo and Ruyigi [26-28 August].

For Information: Nicholas McGowan, Head of Information, PH: (257) 951 681, Email: mcgowann@un.org

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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