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Burundi: Five Women Burned Within Two Weeks in Western Burundi

Victims are from Rugombo, Buganda and Mugina communes in Cibitoke western province. Women activists decry these despicable acts and demand justice and administration executives to intervene.

The most recent case was reported in the night of 14 January. A mother of five was burned by her husband in Rugombo Commune, report her neighbors. The man asked his wife for food. She told him there was nothing to eat as he had just spent a whole week without giving money to buy food. Furiously, the man burned his wife with hot water and the latter was taken to hospital to receive treatment.

“If the police had not intervened in time, this man would have been beaten to death by the population,” police sources say adding that a similar phenomenon is observed in the three communes of Cibitoke. “It is spreading almost throughout the province,” sources report. Residents of Mugina commune report the case of two men who also burned their wives in the same circumstances and another case in Buganda. The perpetrators were sentenced to 15 years in prison by Cibitoke High Court.

The population from these communes deplores the fact that women’s rights continue to be violated. Cibitoke residents say the majority of mistreated women are victims of the fact that their husbands have concubines.

Administration and justice must work together to fight for women rights

Five women have been burned by their husbands in less than two weeks in Cibitoke, declared associations fighting for the respect of women’s rights in Cibitoke province.

They say they are also concerned that this situation may worsen as a result of impunity and the slowness in prosecuting cases of the culprits.

They ask the provincial administration to work with the justice to arrest and punish perpetrators in accordance with the law.

The President of Cibitoke High Court says the latter imposed severe sanctions against these men pleaded guilty to eradicate the phenomenon adding that the court has decided not to drag its feet in dealing with cases of violence against women and other related offenses.

The Association for the Defense of Women’s Rights (ADDF) Inabeza Center, has recorded 16 cases of women victims of gender based violence since the beginning of January 2018. According to the same organization, 247 women have been abused from January to December 2017 throughout the country.

In Burundi, one out of two women (50%) has experienced emotional, physical or sexual violence committed by their husbands, reveals the third 2016-2017 Burundi Demographic and Health Survey (EDSB-III) conducted by Burundi Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies-ISTEEBU.

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