Hundreds of Burundian refugees return home from Tanzania

Hundreds of Burundian refugees return home from Tanzania

Nearly 600 Burundian refugees have left Tanzania to return to their home country, the United Nations said – the first batch in the mass repatriation of hundreds of thousands of people who fled political violence in Burundi four years ago. 
A Tanzanian government official and the UN said all of Thursday’s returns had been voluntary.
More than 400,000 Burundians left the country following a surge of political violence in 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza ran for a third disputed term in office and opponents accused him of breaching the constitution.
Hundreds of people were killed in the ensuing unrest. 
Nkurunziza won the election again and, the following year, Burundi suspended all cooperation with the UN human rights office in the country when a UN-commissioned report accused the government and its supporters of being responsible for crimes against humanity.
Currently, some 182,000 Burundians are living in three camps in Tanzania, according to the UN.  
“All refugees who had registered to return home voluntarily from all camps gathered at Nduta camp and departed from there,” said Athuman Igwe, an official who is responsible for coordinating refugee affairs in Kigoma, western Tanzania.
The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said it had organised 590 Burundian refugees’ journey home in coordination with the UN’s International Organization of Migration.
It said it had not promoted the repatriation programme but was ready to help anyone who wanted to go bac
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