Burundi is a troubled nation, clouded with political persecution and brutal violence. It is like the violence doesn’t seem to stop because starting from 2013 until 2017 (as per the latest reports), around 400 Burundians have claimed refugee status in Canada. And that has chosen Ottawa, Canada’s capital to be their place of residence. 180 of them came in 2017. Diane Tuyishime came to Ottawa with her husband and six-month infant with all her belongings in 2016. According to her, people are leaving Burundi for their safety. They are terrified for their lives and leaving everything back home for their safety. Things weren’t that bad for the country, but hell broke when Pierre Nkurunziza, president of Burundi said he would run for the third term. The International Criminal Court said that an at least 1,200 people have died, around a thousand were illegally detained, and many more people were tortured and disappeared into nowhere. In total, around 400,000 Burundians were displaced from their home and are now living in refugee camps in other countries. Tuyishime had family already living in Ottawa when she came. Her sister-in-law let Tuyishime stay with her family. She considers her very lucky because she knows three languages - French, English, and Burundi’s official language. Her family has now settled in, and Tuyishime is currently working as a communications specialist at Refugee 613, an organization that helps newcomers like her. Nowhere to go Louisa Taylor, the director, Refugee 613, said that no one is worried about Burundi because Syrians have taken over the internet. Burundians have nowhere to go because there’s lack of shelter. They sleep on couches at their friends’ places or in 24-hour fast food joints. More and more are coming in and they need services like emergency shelter, housing, and healthcare. And the only reason they are coming to Ottawa because they already have friends and family there.
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