Identity cards for more than a million Burundians
One million Burundians old enough to vote in May 2010 will receive a free national identity card.
Supported by the United Nations and in particular by UNDP, this campaign, which will start on December 21, will make it possible to distribute identity cards to Burundians over the age of 18. Previously, the administrative costs and delays made it almost impossible for poor people to obtain this card.
After a briefing session for stakeholders involved in this project, Edouard Nduwimana, Minister of the Interior, pointed out that this card would make it possible for Burundian citizens to exercise their civil rights by registering to vote and electing their candidates. This program is especially targeting women living in the countryside and groups that are underprivileged or isolated.
It will take only one day to create and deliver the cards. UNDP has provided assistance to card issuance centers in 129 municipalities, which now have the the necessary equipment.
The governors of provinces, mayors, political parties, civil society and the media will support this initiative, especially by making the general public aware of the importance of the project. The Ministry of the Interior has written to the governors calling upon them to discourage fraud and to ensure that the cards are issued to Burundians alone.
2010 will be a watershed year for Burundi, as it will be the first time that an election cycle has come to a conclusion without disruptions.