Security

Burundi government denies involvement in forced repatriation of refugees

After Burundian refugees in Tanzania expressed their fear about forced repatriation and worries about Burundi government collaboration with Tanzania, the interior ministry rejects the accusation.

Térence Ntahiraja: “When they flee to another country, Burundi has not any right to take a decision about them or cannot persecute them”

Térence Ntahiraja: “When they flee to another country, Burundi has not any right to take a decision about them or cannot persecute them”

Térence Ntahiraja, Assistant to the Interior Minister, says Burundi is not informed about the case of forced repatriation of Burundian refugees living in Tanzania. “I don’t know about their forced repatriation or persecution but if they are really suffering persecution, it is the violation of human rights,” he says.

Mr. Ntahiraja says Burundi government has not any right or power to take a decision about these refugees. “When they flee to another country, Burundi has not any right to take a decision about them or cannot persecute them. They are in the hands of UNHCR and the host country,” he says, adding that Tanzania is probably pushing them to go back to their country because there are peace and stability.
He says life in refugee camps is very difficult and calls on those exiled people to return to their country. “In refugee camps, there is no life. You don’t work and earn your living, you have very limited rights. I invite my fellow Burundians to return so as to avoid all these problems”.

The assistant to the Interior Minister says Burundi government is ready to welcome them and help them return to their respective communities like it does for others.

He says Burundi, Tanzania and UNHCR held a tripartite meeting since last year to proceed with voluntary repatriation. “This is what is going on, there are refugees who are voluntarily being repatriated”.

Burundian refugees in different camps in Tanzania expressed their worries after Emmanuel Maganga, governor of Kigoma led a campaign in their camps to convince them to return to their country arguing that peace and security prevail.

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