Contribution │ Burundian refugees leave Tanzania

22 February 2013 | Florine Mukeshimana

Florine Mukeshimana is a Burundian journalist working for Radio Publique Afrique (RPA) as news presenter in Swahili as well as reporter in Kirundi, French and Swahili. She hosts talk shows covering topics such as East African Community (EAC) Integration. She has been working for RPA for five years.  We asked her to update us on the situation of the refugees who left Mtabila camp in Tanzania at the end of 2012 and are now back in Burundi.

After the tripartite agreement signed the between UNHCR , the government of Burundi and the Tanzanian government the camp of Mtabila was closed at the end of December 2012. The Burundian refugees have been arriving on Burundian ground since October last year.

The parents were separated from their children and from their belongings. After two or three days, the parents were able to find their children. 38,000 Burundian families have to be repatriated according to the UNHCR. Those who know their places of origin were forwarded in the administrative centers of the municipalities with a ‘return package’ consisting of food, a bike for every family and 50 thousand Burundian Francs. The government through the Ministry of National Solidarity every month should supply them with food in their families but unfortunately it is not the case according to these repatriates.

Now there are 60 families who are in the temporary accommodation centers. These ones do not know their origin, because their parents are refugees of 1972 and died in Tanzania in the refugee camp. Their children are not studying and they are asking for land but the government says that they are identifying the lands.

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