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» 12.10.2010 - Nairobi, Dar es Salaam attracting trafficked children
» 16.04.2010 - Tanzania naturalises 162,000 Burundi refugees
» 30.10.2009 - Last Burundian refugees repatriated
» 18.08.2008 - EC helps restore Burundian refugees
» 15.11.2006 - Expulsion of illegal immigrants begins
» 01.02.2005 - "Burundi refugees forced home by Tanzania"
» 25.10.2004 - Food aid for refugees in Tanzania slashed
» 19.02.2004 - Over 10,000 Burundians return from Tanzania

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Society | Politics

Tanzania vows to send all Burundian refugees home

afrol News, 21 June - With the return of peace and stability in Burundi, the Tanzanian President, Jakaya Kikwete, sees no reason why thousands of Burundian refugees should remain in his country.

President Kikwete, who flew to the Burundian capital Bujumbura, disclosed that all Burundian refugee camps will be closed by December 2007.

There are more than 150,000 Burundian refugees living in Tanzanian camps. Some weeks back, the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR airlifted 350 Burundian refugees to United States for resettlement.

Tanzania had provided shelter and protection for tens of thousands of refugees from Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda. These countries had all experienced years of hostilities. In 2002, Tanzania was providing shelter and protection for over a million refugees. This figure declined to 280,000 last year.

From 2002 to date, it is reported that at least 350,000 Burundian refugees returned home following the signing of a peace accord.

During the Burundian civil war, thousands of refugees crossed the borders to Tanzania and other countries for fear of being killed or maimed for life. But according to President Kikwete, now that peace and stability returned to Burundi there is no justification for the continuous stay of Burundian refugees in his country.

He said his government will tell refugees in camps that they should return home after all peace has returned to their home.

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