Tanzania: authorities to expel former Burundian refugees who have returned to exile

Tanzania: authorities to expel former Burundian refugees who have returned to exile

In total, there are 1,048 Burundians to be affected by the measure. They are former refugees who have returned to exile in the past two years after being repatriated to Burundi. The interested parties are asking the Tanzanian government to reconsider its measure, indicating that “reasons which led us to flee our country are still relevant”. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

It is the director general of the Migration Office in the Kigoma region (northwest Tanzania) who announced it on Thursday, November 3, 2022. Remegius Pesambili had gone to the Nduta camp in Tanzania. This camp and that of Nyarugusu host Burundian refugees and are settled in this region.

Hundreds of refugees had been invited to a meeting he held for this purpose.

“1,048 Burundians entered this Nduta camp in violation of rules in force on asylum applications. We cite the fact of not having first gone to the office in charge of migration”, he said.

For Mr. Pesambili, his services must verify and understand reasons that push these Burundians to “always return to exile while their country has regained peace”.

So far, concerned persons have not received any assistance, having not been recognized and received by the service in charge of refugees within the ministry having internal affairs in its attributions.

Members of the group threatened to be expelled said that “the reasons that led us to flee our country are still valid”.

The majority are young people, children and women, noted a reporter of SOS Médias Burundi.

“Tanzanian authorities should listen to us. Our security is still at risk in Burundi – which is why we have returned to exile”, implored young mothers.

In 2020, Tanzanian authorities had expelled 1,028 other Burundians. This happened after a series of armed attacks in the camp and its surroundings, acts attributed to Burundian refugees.

Tanzania is still home to nearly 127,000 Burundian refugees. Since the beginning of the voluntary repatriation program in 2017, refugees and human rights organizations have criticized the Tanzanian government for having taken very drastic measures to compel refugees “to forced return” and forced humanitarian organizations to apply them to the same end.

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