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Burundi launches first report on armed violence

On July 4th, the Burundian National Commission against the Proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons (CNAP) presented, in partnership with AOAV, the first report from the Burundi Armed Violence Observatory.

The Burundi Armed Violence Observatory (BrAVO), a branch of the CNAP, collects data and conducts research and analysis to produce reliable, credible and in-depth reports on armed violence incidences in Burundi. These reports are key tools used in identifying and addressing the root causes of violence, allowing local authorities as well as national and international partners to put in place practical methods to reduce armed violence and halt its negative impacts on development.

AOAV together with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and UNDP have been supporting specific capacity building activities in various technical areas of BrAVO.

Representatives from government ministries, the African Union, International organizations, local NGOs, embassies and the media participated at the event.

This first report, covering the period of January to May 2014, was presented to more than 50 representatives from government ministries, as well as UNDP, the African Union, Dutch and French Embassies, Belgian Technical Cooperation, GIZ-Civil Peace Service, American Friends Service Committee, local NGOs, the Catholic Church and media representatives.

BrAVO collected the data from several different sources.  The main source of information for this report relied on CNAP representatives stationed in all provinces of Burundi, whose data was supplemented by other sources, such as media reports and the Burundi National Police records, civil society organizations and hospital records. However, the Chairman of CNAP Maurice Mbonimpa pointed out, “we faced challenges with regards to lack of sufficient information in some provinces of Burundi”.

From the period of January to May 2014, the Observatory recorded a total of 407 armed violence incidences and 555 victims of armed violence. The most common form of violence is linked to armed robbery (22.1%) and others are related to land disputes (13.0%), rape (8.6%) and domestic violence (5.4%). Most of the reported cases were committed in the home of the victim at night with knives.

“This first report should not be considered as a final document rather as an exercise that will allow to testing the Burundi Armed Violence Observatory and identifying areas that need to be improved” said Mr Mbonimpa.

In the near future, the Observatory will expand the number of sources used to collect data and provide training for its partners in order to collect accurate data on armed violence.

Support to the BrAVO is made possible by the Dutch and Norwegian Governments.

To download the report in French, click here.