We were informed on April 16th of the passing of Burundian human rights activist Georges Kanuma. Georges was a lovely and committed young man who faced the challenges of intense homophobia in Burundi to create the country’s first LGBT group. I had the pleasure of working with him to respond to plans to implement a law criminalizing same-sex acts in Burundi back in February/March of 2009. Despite the success of the bill, Georges continued his very visible activism.
IGLHRC joined forces with Georges again at the ICASA meeting in Dakar in December 2009, where Afrigay (the Francophone African LGBT group that Georges helped to found and to lead) worked with IGLHRC to ensure an unprecedented level of African-led visibility on HIV issues.
Georges was easy to work with and a really sweet man; he cared deeply for the LGBT people of Burundi and of Africa. I was honored to have known him and to have worked under his leadership.
Cary Johnson, Executive Director IGLHRC
IGLHRC Staff Members Chivuli Ukwimi and Cary Alan Johnson, Nigerian Activist Ifeanyi Orazaulike, and Georges Kanuma at Pre-Conference workshop on LGBT and HIV Programs, Nairobi, Kenya, 2009