Africa Asia Middle East Français Português Subscribe IRIN Site Map
PlusNews
Global HIV/AIDS news and analysis
Advanced search
 Tuesday 30 October 2007
 
Home 
Africa 
Weekly reports 
In-Depth reports 
Country profiles 
Fact files 
Events 
Jobs 
Really Simple Syndication Feeds 
About PlusNews 
Donors 
Contact PlusNews 
 
Print report
BURUNDI-RWANDA: Omar Sabimana: "We are like prisoners in this camp"


Photo: Judith Basutama/IRIN
Omar Sabimana
BUJUMBURA, 17 October 2007 (IRIN) - Omar Sabimana, 25, a Rwandan refugee in Burundi, was transferred to Giharo in the southeastern province of Rutana in 2006. He finds camp life stultifying and would like to work.

"I fled Rwanda in 2005. I first found refuge at Rwisuri in northern Ngozi province, then Songore. We were later forced back into Rwanda, but I kept coming back. They wanted to force me to go to Arusha [in Tanzania, where the tribunal trying suspected ringleaders on the 1994 Rwandan genocide is based] to testify against Elie Ndayambaje [a genocide suspect].

"I refused to go there; I feel I have nothing to say. I was only 12 when the genocide took place. How can I remember what he did or did not do? I only remember that my parents were killed and I was left alone and Ndayambaje took me to his home.

"Like other orphans, Ibuka, [an organisation of survivors of the genocide, which seeks justice and social and economic wellbeing of those affected], built me a house, but I refused to testify on an issue I know nothing about.

"I have lived in this camp since last year, but I feel like I have lived here for ages. Many of us here have nothing to do. Spending the whole day idle at my age is unbearable.

"We are like prisoners. We have to ask for permission to go out, and we have to be back by 6pm. We have refugee cards but they do not allow us to move freely. If I were allowed to move, I could look for a job among Burundian families.

"Those responsible for the camp helped some refugees find jobs as assistant builders. They can easily get 20,000 francs or even 30,000 per month (US$20), but others do not have jobs. The only job I can get is as farm labourer, but the pay is small.

"If we were allowed out, we could go to other provinces and work to improve our lives.

"I only receive 10kg of flour, 5kg of beans, a litre of oil and three bars of soap every month, but sometimes the rations come late.

"I can't live like this all my life. As I don’t plan to go back to Rwanda, I feel they have to let us out to look for jobs wherever possible."

jb/jn/mw


Theme(s): (IRIN) Refugees/IDPs

[ENDS]

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
Print report
FREE Subscriptions
Your e-mail address:


Submit your request
 More on Burundi
26/Oct/2007
CENTRAL AND EASTERN AFRICA: IRIN-CEA Weekly Round-up 404 for 20 - 26 October 2007
25/Oct/2007
BURUNDI: Villagers flee as rebel fighters attack splinter group's position
24/Oct/2007
AFRICA: Slum Survivors - new IRIN film released
24/Oct/2007
BURUNDI: Assessment to determine whether FNL "dissidents" are genuine
16/Oct/2007
BURUNDI: Janvière Congera: “Do they want to make us refugees in our own country?”
 More on Refugees/IDPs
30/Oct/2007
DRC-UGANDA: More people flee from North Kivu to Uganda
30/Oct/2007
SUDAN: Unity paramount, say delegates to Darfur talks
30/Oct/2007
SUDAN-CHAD: NGOs work to clear their name after child ‘trafficking’
29/Oct/2007
SUDAN: Unarmed Darfur groups demand role at peace talks
29/Oct/2007
SOMALIA: Prime minister quits; violence rocks Mogadishu
Back | Home page

Services:  Africa | Asia | Middle East | Radio | Film & TV | Photo | E-mail subscription
Feedback · E-mail Webmaster · IRIN Terms & Conditions · Really Simple Syndication News Feeds · About PlusNews · Bookmark PlusNews · Donors

Copyright © IRIN 2007
This material comes to you via IRIN, the humanitarian news and analysis service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the United Nations or its Member States. Republication is subject to terms and conditions as set out in the IRIN copyright page.