590 Burundian refugees repatriated from Tanzania

“590 Burundian refugees have been voluntarily repatriated from Tanzania this October 3,” says Nestor Bimenyimana, Director General in charge of repatriation at the Ministry of the Interior.
The process of voluntary repatriation of Burundian refugees sheltered in Tanzania has been ongoing since 2017, he adds.
These returnees are accommodated in Nyabitare transit camp located in Gisuru Commune of Ruyigi Province, in the east of Burundi.

Burundian refugees returning home from Tanzania

The tripartite agreement signed on 28 March 2018 between the Burundian and Tanzanian governments as well as UNHCR provided for the repatriation of 2,000 refugees per week, that is 1,000 refugees per convoy.

Mr Bimenyimena says he has not yet known the reason why only about a half of the expected refugees are repatriated. “It is still early to know the reasons behind this slow repatriation,” he says. He hopes to get detailed information about this in the coming days.

This government official says that the repatriation is voluntary: “Only those who have registered to return home are repatriated.”
In August 2019, the Tanzanian and Burundian governments signed an agreement to repatriate willy-nilly all Burundian refugees living on the Tanzanian territory by October 1st. Politicians, national and international human rights organizations have decried this decision accusing both countries of violating the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.