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#Burundi diaspora| The (non) power of a passport

By Miss Pilipili /Published on Thursday, 26 Jan 2017 13:12 PM // 349 views

Any holders of an African passport has experienced how strenuous it is to travel with it. However, according to Africanews.com,  all African passports don’t hold the same value. Mauritius and South Africa’s citizens have somewhat more flexibility with their passport in regards to free travel on the continent . But the most fortunate African travelers are the Seychelles nationals. A holder of a Seychelles’ passport can visit 96 countries visa-free and 30 others with visa upon arrival!

The report lists travelers from Nigeria, Ethiopia and Somalia as having the least freedom of travel. It is a mystery how Burundi didn’t make the list considering the nightmare most Burundians go through to travel.

Holding a Burundian passport only grants you visa-free entry in Rwanda,Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. Other than that, the Burundian passport brings its holder numerous headaches unfortunately.  Some countries, such as Belgium, seem to be allergic to the Burundian passport considering the pain one has to endure to obtain a visa to that country. And in many cases, you go through all the troubles for your visa application, only to be denied at the end. A friend of mine living in the United States of America(!) under a student visa, got her visa application for Belgium denied 3 times just because she held a Burundian passport!

But even when a visa is (miraculously) stamped into a Burundian passport, the troubles don’t end there.  As many Burundians have experienced first-hand, the Burundian passport comes with many restrictions and limited flexibility. We are probably the only country in the world to be given 3 months visa! (Please let us know if there are any others).

And as the Burundian government continuously isolates itself from the rest of the world, alienating its former allies, it might become mission impossible for the common Burundian to travel (if he or she is not affiliated with the political party in power). Tragic reality.

What is your experience traveling with a Burundian passport?

 

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