Friday 23 June 2017

Burundi's fuel crisis is national concern: VP

Burundi's fuel crisis is national concern: VP
(Xinhuanet 05/19/17)
Burundi's fuel crisis is national concern: VP

Burundian First Vice-President Gaston Sindimwo on Thursday described the east African country's fuel crisis as a "national" concern.

"The fuel crisis hitting Burundi is not only a citizens' problem, but it is also a national concern. We (the Burundian government) are doing all our best so that in few days, the fuel crisis will be over," Sindimwo said.

For about a month, the east African nation has been facing acute shortages of gasoline and gasoil at petrol stations countrywide, paralyzing transport of persons and that of goods.

The country's fuel crisis has also caused the hike of food items at marketplaces.

In April, Burundian Energy Minister Come Manirakiza told lawmakers at the National Assembly -- the country's parliament lower chamber -- that the oil shortage was due to the "failure" by the Burundian government to "have enough" hard currency.

Meanwhile, earlier this week, the energy ministry announced that petrol stations should only open during daytime, between 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. to avoid "possible" fraud.

The ministry also designated petrol stations that will serve vehicles, tricycles and motorcycles transporting people and those transporting goods.

The ministry also set quantities of fuel that are to be distributed to those vehicles, tricycles and motorcycles, awaiting the end of the fuel crisis.

The Burundi Consumers' Association (ABUCO) has called on the east African country's government to quickly solve the oil crisis hitting the country.

"Urging petrol stations to open during daytime hours is not a solution to the fuel crisis. Urgent solutions to this (fuel) crisis need to be found by the government," the ABUCO said.

It further warned that Burundi's economy will face a "terrible decline" if the oil crisis continues to deepen.

Burundi has been facing a political and economic crisis following the controversial third term bid of President Pierre Nkurunziza in April 2015.

Several partners of Burundi including the European Union (EU) have frozen their financial aid towards the east African country's government.

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