Tanzania on Tuesday announced that it will begin sending back all Burundian refugees from October. This follows a reported agreement with neighbours Burundi and the United Nations (UN), which will be helping with the repatriation.
“In agreement with the Burundian government and in collaboration with the High Commissioner for Refugees, we will start the repatriation of all Burundian refugees on October 1,” Tanzanian Interior Minister Kangi Lugola said while speaking to AFP.
However, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in a statement has insisted that returnees should be allowed to go home voluntarily. This according to the agency is because conditions in Burundi, which was plunged into a political crisis four years ago, are not “conducive to promote returns.”
Government figures show that some 200,000 Burundians are currently in Tanzania with many arriving after a political crisis erupted in Burundi in 2015. The violence, the UN says, was mostly carried out by state security forces following President Pierre Nkurunziza’s decision in April 2015 to run for a third disputed term in office.
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