Fuel Trafficking Ban from Uvira to Burundi Amid Severe Socio-Economic Crisis

3 Min Read

Amid a severe socio-economic crisis characterized by an acute shortage of petroleum products, including gasoline and diesel, the authorities in Uvira territory, located in the South Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), have imposed a strict ban on fuel trafficking to neighboring Burundi. This decision aims to mitigate the impact of the fuel crisis and safeguard local interests.

In the DRC, the prohibition of fuel trafficking to Burundi is now enforced across the entire Uvira territory. This measure was instituted by Mabiswa Selemani Jean de Dieu, the administrator of this border region. Selemani expressed concerns over the substantial flow of fuel observed recently through various border paths leading to the Ruzizi River, which then heads into Burundi.

Administrator Selemani justified the ban as a protective measure for the local population. He recounted a tragic incident in 2010 in Sange, now the administrative center of Uvira, where improper fuel handling resulted in the loss of over 300 lives. He highlighted the current widespread availability of fuel and the alarming fact that even children are involved in its handling.

Selemani lamented the significant revenue loss for the public treasury due to fuel smuggling. He estimated that over 5,000 liters of fuel are trafficked daily to Burundi, resulting in substantial financial losses for the state. This illicit trade has also contributed to fuel shortages and price surges within the region. “A liter of fuel that used to cost 3,800 or 4,000 Congolese francs now costs 6,500 francs in Sange,” he stated.

André Byadunia, a political figure in Uvira, disputed the notion of a fuel shortage in the region. However, he emphasized the need for the state to assume its responsibilities. Byadunia pointed out the absence of a price regulator and a bilateral agreement between the two countries, which has led to state officials facilitating fuel access to Burundian friends in exchange for 400,000 Burundian francs, equivalent to 55-60 US dollars.

Administrator Selemani issued a stern warning that security personnel found complicit in this fuel trafficking would face legal consequences. This firm stance underscores the administration’s commitment to curbing illegal activities and maintaining order within the territory.


Share this Article