Over 79,000 Burundian refugees returned home from Tanzania within two years

Dar es Salaam hosted on 29 November the 21st Meeting of the Tripartite Commission for the Voluntary Repatriation of Burundian Refugees from Tanzania. The Delegation of the United Republic of Tanzania was led by Kangi Lugola Minister of Home Affairs, that of Burundi by Pascal Barandagiye, Minister of the Interior while the UNHCR delegation was led by George Okoth-Obbo, UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner and Operations.

Burundian refugees returning home from Tanzania

They noted that 79,728 Burundian refugees have been repatriated from Tanzania from 7 September 2017 to 07 November 2019.

Tanzania currently hosts 278,275 refugees and asylum seekers, of which approximately 166,000 are Burundians. Most of them arrived since April 2015 according to the joint communiqué issued after the tripartite meeting.

The tripartite commission agreed to continue facilitating the voluntary repatriation of Burundian refugees who are willing to return to their country from Tanzania in accordance with the principles that guide voluntary repatriation.

“While some refugees may opt to return now, others may still have well-founded reasons for not seeking to return at the present time, and will continue to benefit from the international protection,” said the commission.

The commission also agrees to reintegrate all returnees and self-organized returnees once arrived in their country. The commission calls on the international community to support the voluntary repatriation and reintegration process.