Tanzania and Burundi have agreed in principle to repatriate Burundian refugees still living in camps in northwestern Tanzania after the voluntary repatriation of October 2019.
Statistics by Tanzania’s Home Affairs Ministry show there are still 136,221 Burundians at refugee camps in the country and only 10,108 have expressed the desire for repatriation.
The ministry’s spokesperson, Christina Mwangosi, told The EastAfrican that all procedures for repatriation are in place and the ministry will co-ordinate the exercise jointly with officials from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
The call to repatriate Burundian refugees living in Tanzania was made recently by newly elected Burundian President Evariste Ndayishimiye who pleaded for their unconditional return.
“We have just honoured ourselves by showing the world that we no longer need to ignore lessons of democracy. It is rather our turn to teach others,” he said in reference to the peaceful election and transition despite the sudden death of then outgoing President Pierre Nkurunziza before the handover.