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Burundians Flee Capital Bujumbura, Rural Communities Feel the Pressure

On April 30th we published a blog warning of rising violence in Burundi ahead of presidential elections in the summer. Below is the most recent update from the Food for the Hungry (FH) field office in Burundi. While violence is concentrated in the capital, Bujumbura, our rural communities are beginning to feel the impact as family and friends flee the capital to take refuge in the villages. Just this morning, May 13, BBC reported that a military coup has taken place in Bujumbura. 

MUFUMYA COMMUNITY, KAYANZA PROVINCE, BURUNDI

BURUNDIAN FAMILY FLEES TO RWANDA, PHOTO CREDIT: KATE HOLT VIA THE GUARDIAN

Since FH Canada and FH Burundi started working with the community of Mufumya, Burundi, infrastructure support in terms of school construction, water provision and field visits have enabled the people of Mufumya to build a better future that will be self-sustainable. Water is serving the community, and community livelihoods have improved. 

Mufumya maintains its community solidarity in the midst of current Burundi political tension that started April 26, 2015. 

But protests are set to continue in Burundi, especially in the capital city of Bujumbura, as increasing numbers of protesters take to the streets against the current President’s decision to seek a third term in office. 

Things may quickly change in Mufumya as clashes in Bujumbura continue. 

Fearing potential fighting, people have been fleeing the city of Bujumbura into neighboring communities including Mufumya and the countries of Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Tanzania. In addition to receiving a number of relatives joining their families from Bujumbura, the fear of what may happen (renewed violence) prevents people from going about their daily activities in Mufumya. 

As a consequence of the mass movement in Mufumya, some people are experiencing theft of their harvests and lack of infrastructure necessary to support all the relatives coming from Bujumbura. The East Africa Ministers of Foreign Affairs are meeting in Bujumbura to discuss possible interventions to prevent violence. This is good news as it has been successful in the past in defusing previous tensions, but more prayers are needed for God to intervene in the situation in Burundi.

Parliamentary elections are scheduled for May 26 and presidential elections for June 26. Pray for peace leading up to and during these elections. Pray for the stability of Mufumya.

To read stories about Mufumya and other FH communities in Burundi, visit the Burundi tab on the FH blog. To learn more about the increasing tensions in Burundi, here are two articles from the UN Refugee Agency and The Guardian


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Food for the Hungry: Burundians Flee Capital Bujumbura, Rural Communities Feel the Pressure
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