Bujumbura- Burundi (PANA) -- The government of Burundi has welcomed with "gratitu de and relief" the decision by Tanzania to naturalize 162,000 Barundi refugees living in the country.
Burundi's Solidarity Minister Immaculee Nahaoya described the move as "historic" , adding that "no country in the world had ever done that".
Tanzania's decision mainly covers refugees who fled the first civil war in Burun di in 1972 and their descendants.
The refugees who left Burundi in the aftermath of the 1993 socio-political crisi s have been returning home in large numbers since 2002.
Tanzania's decision has saved Burundi from a potentially-explosive situation, as the return of the refugees would have been a source of fresh land disputes, since those who remain ed behind have taken over the land vacated by the refugees.
Land disputes are already estimated to account for more than 80 per cent of lega l cases in the Burundi's lower courts.