The Burundi deputies of the National Assembly unanimously adopted on Wednesday, September 19th, 2018, a draft law on the country’s accession to the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons.
The Convention, formally establishing the legal status of a stateless person, aims to regulate and improve the status of stateless persons and ensure that they can “enjoy their freedoms and fundamental rights” without distinction, according to local observers.
“In Burundi, we can not say that we have already identified stateless people. However, we have people who claim to be of Omani origin who have been identified and who are at risk of statelessness because the Sultanate of Oman does not recognize them as Omani citizens. Moreover, these people do not have Burundian nationality,” Pascal Barandagiye, Burundian Minister of Home Affairs and Patriotic Training, and Local Development, told MPs to defend the bill.
Mr. Barandagiye recalled that in view of this particular situation, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in collaboration with the Government of Burundi through the National Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (ONPRA), undertook a “registration and profiling” operation for the population concerned in 2012, resulting in 1,302 people claiming to be of Omani origin.