Contribution | Burundian refugees leave Tanzania

20 February 2013 | Elie Nahimana

Pastor Elie Nahimana works at MIPAREC, an NGO based in Bujumbura, Burundi. MIPAREC is a non-profit organisation promoting the values of peace, restorative justice and development. When we were in Burundi in October 2012, the Pastor introduced us to the issue of tens of thousands of Burundian refugees living in a camp in Tanzania who were to have their refugee status revoked and would need to return to Burundi by December 31st 2012. We asked Pastor Elie for an up-date on the situation with the Burundian refugees based in Mutabila camp, Tanzania, and their arrival in Burundi after December 31st. The Pastor sent us this brief message:

Concerning the Mutabila refugees, I got information from three communes which are Kayogoro, Nyanza- Lac and Makamba. In the three areas things look the same. Many of them choose to stay in Nyanza-Lac [the first main town in Burundi when crossing the border from the Mutabila in Tanzania] even those coming from other provinces. There are many reasons behind this, some don’t know their origin when others stayed there for commercial reasons or other small businesses.

Each family decided to look for way to continue living, some by buying very small plot from the 50,000 [Burundian] Francs [more or less £21] given to each person where they install a small tent to live in, others hired small houses ( 2 rooms), and some live in their neighbour’s houses or friends that they knew from the refugee camp.

By the way, they wait for any spport to help them continue to accomodate to the new life.

What is sure is that in few months situation will be worse for some.

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