Since two weeks, Burundians living in Tanzania have been mistreated and forced to go back to their native country. According to one analyst, the two countries should negotiate to solve the problem very quickly and prevent any negative impact in EAC- By
Some Burundians living in Tanzania are running away from the country without their belongings, properties or complete members of their families. Even anyone who got married to a Tanzanian has been obliged to flee without his/her own affairs. The only criterion considered: having a Burundian Nationality.
According to Pascal Niyonizigiye, Lecturer at the University of Burundi and International Relations’ Expert, there are different reasons explaining why Tanzania is chasing Burundians living in that country. “The first reason is a historical one. Tanzania has often received many refugees. Today, maybe the country is tired of the situation because it is very expensive to take care of too many refugees. And Tanzania Government thinks that it may be affected by the same problem of civil warlike situations that have prevailed in Burundi. So, it has chosen to oblige them to leave unwillingly. The second reason is a misunderstanding between Rwanda and Tanzania after the Tanzanian President J M Kikwete has proposed negotiations between RPF( Rwanda Patriotic Front) and RLDF(Rwanda Liberation Democratic Front) commonly known as FDLR . And the third reason is that Tanzanians always confuse Rwandans and Burundians, and the latter are the victims of the political conflict existing between the two countries”, explains Niyonizigiye.
He indicates that it is regrettable that Tanzania which has always played a major role to welcome refugees since a long time dares to chase them today!
“I don’t think that there is something hidden behind this phenomenon but Tanzanians may be covetous or jealous and think that Burundians have gone to become richer in their country. So, the solution is to chase them,” he wonders.
According to him, Tanzanian and Burundian authorities may sit and find together the solution to the problem: “The EAC region commission should for example, play the role of a facilitator and include the situation on the agenda during the international peace and security conference. There is no peace and security when there are still refugees who are mistreated and compelled to run away”, concludes Niyonizigiye.
It is worth indicating that this Monday, Leontine Nzeyimana, Minister in Charge of EAC Affairs has explained to the National Assembly, that the question is going to be discussed with her counterpart. “Even though the free movement of goods and persons is stipulated in the EAC Establishment Act, we couldn’t forget that being in conformity with the law remains a big challenge issue to be deeply considered in the whole community” she said to the National Assembly this Monday 19th 2013.