DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua)
-- The UN refugee agency will
next week start repatriating about 12,000 Burundian
refugees sheltered in Tanzania’s western region of
Kigoma, a tripartite meeting between Tanzania, Burundi
and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) agreed
issued at the end of the one-day 19th
tripartite meeting in the east African nation’s
commercial capital Dar es Salaam said the refugees who
have volunteered to return home will be repatriated from
September 7 through December this year.
chaired by Tanzania’s Minister for Home Affairs Mwigulu
Nchemba requested the World Food Programme (WFP) to
provide food for the returning refugees in Burundi for
three months beginning September.
also appealed to the international community to provide
necessary support for the voluntary repatriation process
including support for the local communities in Burundi.
the government was not forcing the Burundian refugees to
return to their country explaining that the refugees had
volunteered to go back home on their own volition.
“No one has
forced them to get back to their country. They have been
self-motivated and what Tanzania is doing is to
facilitate their safe return home,” said Nchemba.
Tanzania was aware that the situation in Burundi was
stable and allowed for the voluntary repatriation of the
Kapaya, the UNHCR Country Representative for Tanzania,
thanked the governments of Tanzania and Burundi for
their joint interest and keenness to respond to the
request by the refugees to be assisted to return
voluntarily to Burundi.
appreciated the hospitality and generosity of the
government of Tanzania which has been host to thousands
of refugees since its independence in 1961.
Tanzania hosts some 350,000 refugees and asylum seekers,
of whom 256,850 have arrived from Burundi since April
On July 20,
President John Magufuli called on the Burundian refugees
now in the country to return home voluntarily and help
build their country, asserting that now there was
security in the tiny central African country.
remarks were in support of an earlier plea by Burundian
president Pierre Nkurunziza, who had called on his
fellow countrymen to go back home and help rebuild their
country because the “war is over.”
also took a swipe at international humanitarian bodies
for trying to convince refugees not to return to their
home countries because of continued insecurity, just so
they can continue receiving aid from donors.
President also directed the Ministry of Home Affairs not
to grant citizenship to any more Burundian refugees
coming into Tanzania.
In June this
year, the UN refugee agency said Tanzania remained the
largest host of Burundian refugees.
currently home to more than 315,000 refugees and
asylum-seekers, mainly from Burundi and the Democratic
Republic of the Congo. They are hosted in three refugee
camps of Nyarugusu, Nduta, and Mtendeli, which face
the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) appealed
for 23.6 million U.S. dollars from now through to
December this year to be able to continue meeting the
food and nutritional needs of refugees in Tanzania.
largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide
said in a statement that it has been forced to reduce
food rations for 320,000 refugees in Mtendeli, Nduta and
Nyarugusu Camps in northwest Tanzania as a result of
refugees, primarily from Burundi and the Democratic
Republic of the Congo, with five food commodities of
maize meal, pulses, super cereal, vegetable oil and
funding shortages, all five commodities were reduced for
the August distribution, reaching only 62 percent of the
2,100 required kilocalories which is the recommended
daily calorie intake,” said the statement.
immediate response from donors, further ration cuts will
be necessary as food stocks are simply running out,”
said WFP Tanzania Country Representative Michael Dunford.