Bujumbura- Burundi (PANA) -- The UN Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) Saturday hail ed the progress achieved by Burundi in the repatriation of the country's refuge e s, in a press release issued here on the occasion of the celebration of the Worl d Refugee Day.
In 2008, Burundi competed with Afghanistan in the repatriation of the greatest n umber of refugees by bringing back home nearly 100,000 refugees from different f o reign countries, UNHCR noted.
Burundi wants to end, this year, the suffering of the refugees who are now only 50,000, waiting in exile, according to the communique, noting that about 14,000 r efugees have already arrived in the native land since 1 January 2009.
According to the agency, the massive return has been going on since 2002 and som e 477,000 Burundian refugees have allegedly returned from exile since then.
The agency sometimes use incentives, including giving each repatriated refugee 5 0.
000 Burundian francs (1 Burundian franc = US$ 0.
001) pocket money, in addition to the return package of food and others.
The main country of reception of the refugees has always been Tanzania, which ma de huge efforts by accepting to grant nationality to about 170,000 exiled Burund i ans, to avoid social outflanking in its small neighbouring country in the north.
"The voluntary repatriation is a sign of peace consolidation but it also poses s everal challenges like land conflicts, sometimes bloody, between the repatriated and those back home," the communique noted.
The UNHCR will continue to assist the Burundian government to find solution to t he problems of repatriated refugees, who do not have easy access to land.