The U.S. Embassy Bujumbura is ready to assist in the event of the death of a U.S. citizen in Burundi.
The American Citizen Services unit can:
- Confirm the death, identity, and U.S. citizenship of the deceased.
- Assist in finding and notifying the next-of-kin of the deceased.
- Act as a liaison with the Burundian police, hospitals and funeral homes.
- Provide a list of funeral homes that can arrange for the disposition and repatriation of remains.
- Provide information on the administrative process and documents required to receive the official death certificate.
- Assist in the collection and return of personal effects to next-of-kin
- Issue a “Consular Report of Death of a U.S. Citizen Abroad” to the next-of-kin or legal representative for use in settling estate matters in the United States.
Disposition and Repatriation of Remains:
The two primary options are burial in Burundi or shipment to the U.S. The local authorities require that the next-of-kin submit evidence of their relationship with the deceased to retrieve the remains. Next-of-kin can send proof of their relationship with the deceased (birth certificate, photo ID, etc.) to the local funeral home, which will then submit it to the appropriate Burundian authorities. If someone is not a direct relative of the deceased, a notarized power of attorney is required, giving that person authority to represent the next-of-kin before the Burundian authorities. The representative may be a friend, a Burundian attorney, or a funeral home representative.
Remains are handled in accordance with the laws of and facilities available in Burundi, which may not be the same as what exists the United States. In the case of sudden death, the police may investigate the cause of death and issue a police report, which can delay the process.
For shipment of the remains to the U.S., the remains must first be embalmed or cremated. Local mortuaries offer adequate capacity and use formalin solution injections for preservation. However, there are no embalming facilities available in Burundi. Autopsies are not required nor available in the local hospitals.
The embassy cannot recommend a funeral home, but those on the list below have indicated that they can assist with local burials and funerals, shipping of remains abroad, and the administrative process.
- Memoria (Funeral Home)
Boulevard Ntare Rushatsi No 08
Rohero 1, Bujumura, Burundi
Tel: 72 444 222 / 75 651 242
- Diamond funeral service (Funeral Home)
Avenue du 18 septembre Numero 20
Tel : 79-002-778
Please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for more information on shipping remains back to the U.S. Importation of Human Remains into the United States for Burial, Entombment, or Cremation (cdc.gov)
Estimated Costs of Mortuary Services in Burundi
The cost for preparation and local burial in Burundi – approximately $1500- $2000
The cost for cremation and disposition of ashes locally – approximately $1800
Preparation and air shipment of remains; Bujumbura to U.S. – approximately $10,000-$12,000
These estimated costs may vary depending on the specific requirements, circumstances and location of the deceased.
Return of Personal Effects
The Embassy can, in certain circumstances, take charge of some of the personal effects and possessions of the deceased if instructed to do so by the next-of-kin. This is usually not necessary if the deceased has a friend or family member present in Burundi at the time of death.
We will conduct an inventory of any personal effects and send a copy to the next-of-kin. At their own expense, we may be able to send the family items they wish to have returned. Most families decide to donate items of little sentimental or monetary value (clothing, suitcases, kitchenware, etc…) to a local charity to avoid the large expense involved in returning these items to the United States. The Embassy will gladly arrange for this charitable donation on the family’s behalf.
Consular Report of Death of a U.S. Citizen Abroad
The “Consular Report of Death of an American Citizen Abroad” (CRODA) is an official report in English that provides the essential facts concerning the death of a U.S. citizen. The CRODA is based on the Burundian death certificate (acte de décès). It functions in much the same way as a death certificate issued in the United States and can be used to settle bank accounts, insurance policies and other estate matters.
The embassy can complete the report once it receives the following:
- Original death certificate (copie intégrale of the acte de décès) from the local civil registry
- Original hospital death report
- Passport of the deceased
- Completed DS-2060 form
- Copy of the next-of-kin’s passport or other ID
If the documents will be submitted by a family member or legal representative in lieu of the next-of-kin, please provide an authorization letter from the next-of-kin.
- Consular Report of Death of a U.S. citizen Abroad
- Returns of Remains of Deceased U.S. citizens
- Estates of Deceased U.S. Citizens