Tanzania: Tanzania opens refugee camp for ex-Burundian fighters

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (PANA) - Tanzania has set up a special refugee camp to accommodate Burundian army deserters and asylum seekers who have been members of either regular or irregular armed groups in the crisis-torn East African country, according to Home Affairs Minister Charles Kitwanga.

“We have been receiving many refugees from Burundi and some of them are from the army. Among the measures taken include sending them to the special camp to prevent them from getting involved in any activities which might threaten security,” the minister was quoted on Tuesday by the government-owned Daily News as saying.

He told the daily that any refugee who had been actively engaged in military activities in Burundi would be taken to the new camp at Mwisa in northwestern Tanzania's Kagera Region.

Currently, Tanzania is hosting 123,382 Burundian refugees who have fled their country as a result of the violence that erupted in April 2015. Most of them are living at Nyarugusu refugee camp in Kigoma Region which borders Burundi.

Government officials taking care of the refugees said the arrival of new refugees overstretched resources at the camp, originally built for 50,000 people. By October last year, the camp was accommodating more than 160,000 Burundian and Congolese refugees.

The UN Refugee Agency said then that Nyarugusu was "one of the largest and most overcrowded refugee camps in the world".

Following lengthy negotiations with the Tanzania government, UNHCR was allowed to use three former refugee camps – Nduta, Mtendeli and Karago - also in the same region, to ease pressure on Nyarugusu.
-0- PANA AR/MA 2Feb2016

02 february 2016 06:33:15

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