Campaign Spotlight

Campaign Spotlight: The International Federation for Human Rights and We Are Social reveal devastating reality in Burundi with ‘I Love / I Leave Burundi’ campaign

BURUNDI – The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) has launched a hard-hitting campaign to alert the public of the violence, intimidation and human rights abuses being perpetrated in Burundi by the country’s authorities, ahead of referendum on the presidential term, which takes place on 17th May.

The campaign is formed of two key parts, which were created by We Are Social France, and is designed to raise awareness about the repression that has resulted in over 1,700 deaths and 400,000 refugees forced into exile.



The first stage centres on an online film called #ILoveBurundi presenting Burundi as a paradise destination. The idea is to communicate exactly what the Burundi Government would want to hear by presenting the country as a beautiful destination so as to generate conversation and debate. The #ILoveBurundi film promotes the beauty of the country and was posted online and on Twitter – a popular social media platform for the Burundian Government but also for Burundian refugees around the world.

Immediately after posting the #ILoveBurundi film, as expected, Government officials and pro-Government individuals liked and shared the tweets, whilst refugees and human rights defenders rebelled on Twitter with comments like “a fascinating nature, dream landscapes. But furious leaders who play football, pray and dance in the bloodshed of thousands of innocent people”.


 The second phase of the campaign launched a few days later (15th May) as a follow-up film called #ILeaveBurundi, which shows the other reality of the situation in the country and reveals that the narrator of the original tourism film is a refugee from Burundi – one of the over 400,000 forced to flee their homeland to escape arrest, torture and execution. This film uses the hashtag #ILeaveBurundi, with the following post “you can love your country and be forced to leave it. The idyllic scenery of Burundi hides a political violence responsible for the death of 1,700 people and the exile of 400,000 civilians! #ILeaveBurundi”. A few hours later, the tweet has generated hundreds of like, shares and a real debate is taking place in the comment section.

The current cycle of violence in Burundi began in April 2015 when the first popular demonstration against President Nkurunziza’s announcement to run for a third term was repressed. This was followed by a campaign by the authorities to systematically eliminate all opposition, with the result that over 1,700 people may have been killed. Along with the over 400,000 refugees that have fled to neighbouring countries, there have been up to 486 victims of enforced disappearance, hundreds of people tortured and over 8,000 people arbitrarily detained.

#ILeaveBurundi film: 

Twitter Account >


Agency: We Are Social France

Founder & CEO: Sandrine Plasseraud

Executive Creative Director: Thomas Guilhot

Group Account Director: Vincent Reynaud-Lacroze

Account Manager: Pierre Chaudoy

Strategic Planner: Fabien Gaetan

Art Director: Paul Grange

Copywriters: Alexandre Foucray, Philippe Lesesvre

TV Producer: Cécile Ousset

Production: We Are Social Sutdios

Post-production: FIRM STUDIO

Director: Kentin Denoyelle

Sound production: THE

Client: FIDH

Digital Communication Officer: Anne Vesque

PR & Communication Assistant: Yvon Chagué

Press Manager: Samuel Hanryon

Partner with adobo Magazine

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