FILE PHOTO: Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza claps after signing the new constitution at the Presidential Palace in Gitega Province

JOHANNESBURG – The Burundi authorities are cracking down on the foreign currency black market with more than 40 people arrested in the country since penalties for black market trading were increased last month, according the Ministry of Public Security.

A ministry spokesman said that those who had been arrested were accused of “breaching the central bank regulation on foreign exchange”, the East African reported.

Following the freezing of foreign aid in 2016 - after President Pierre Nkurunziza ran for a third term despite protests from his political opponents who asserted he was violating terms of a deal that ended the civil war – Burundi has suffered from foreign currency shortages.

In October the Central Bank asserted that official reserves in the first quarter of the year covered only three weeks of imports, and has not answered requests for more recent information.

The Burundi authorities are cracking down on the foreign currency black market with more than 40 people arrested in the country since penalties for black market trading were increased last month, according the Ministry of Public Security.


(190930) -- BUJUMBURA, Sept. 30, 2019 (Xinhua) -- Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza waves to people during a ceremony to launch the China-aided state house in Bujumbura, Burundi, Sept. 27, 2019. The complex with a total construction area of about 10,000 square meters is located in the northeast of Bujumbura, some 9 km from the city center. It consists of the president's office building, rooms for guards and equipment, and watchtowers. The Burundi authorities are cracking down on the foreign currency black market with more than 40 people arrested in the country since penalties for black market trading were increased last month, according the Ministry of Public Security. (Xinhua/Evrard Ngendakumana)

- African News Agency (ANA)