Tanzania: authorities raise refugees’ awareness on the respect of the laws they constantly violate

Tanzania: authorities raise refugees’ awareness on the respect of the laws they constantly violate

Two weeks devoted to the sensitization on the national legislation and provisions governing refugees, in the Nduta and Nyarugusu camps. Refugees find that they are protected by good legislation, which the host country is struggling to enforce.iNFO SOS Médias Burundi

The sensitization campaign was organized by the High Court of Kigoma region (northwestern Tanzania), the camps management, the police and the immigration services.

They aim to reduce the number of refugees in imprison.

“We went to the prisons in Kibondo and Kisulu districts and found that there are more refugees, especially Burundians. Some of them claim they don’t know the law. So, we want you to be informed of the offenses and related penalties”, explained the Tanzanian officials.

Refugees believe that the legislation is better for their protection.

“In any case, these laws and rules are well done. We have even heard that we have a perimeter of six kilometers around the camps to circulate freely in the surrounding villages, which is a good thing to breathe and perhaps do a small business or even maintain good relations with the host community”, emphasize refugees from the Nduta camp.

The problem is that there is no adequate enforcement of those laws.

“Imagine that anyone caught even in these villages that touch on our camps is punished, accused of going out without authorization. And then, it is this trade strictly banned here while the trading centers are recognized by the laws that are read to us, ” the refugees complain.

Two cases caught the attention at the Nduta camp.

“A woman from Zone 15, Village 6, Number 70 from whom more than 100 kg of beans were confiscated on the mere suspicion that she had a field outside the camp without any evidence. And then a man from Zone 13, Village 12, Number 30 who had his basin of donuts removed by the police who also arrested him on suspicion of buying flour outside the camp to make a illegal trade. So they teach us laws that they themselves do not apply”, regret refugees, angry.

These occupants of the Nduta and Nyarugusu camps denounce a double standard situation.

Human rights NGOs that accompany the administration in this awareness campaign urge refugees each time to seize them when they believe that their rights are violated or when they are in conflict with the law.

Teams of lawyers to defend refugees will also be set up in partnership with humanitarian NGOs including DRC (Danish Refugee Council), which reassures refugees even if they have already lost hope and indicate that they are not waiting from these initiatives.

Tanzania received more than 200,000 refugees, including more than 145,000 Burundians.

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