Tanzania to grant citizenship to Burundians

Tuesday August 22 2017

Burundi refugees await to be registered at

Burundi refugees await to be registered at Nyarugusu camp in northwest of Tanzania on June 11, 2015. AFP PHOTO | STEPHANIE AGLIETTI 

By BEATRICE MATERU
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Tanzania has said it will offer citizenship to more Burundi refugees who have been in the country for more than 45 years.

Tanzania has already naturalised more than 162,000 Burundian refugees who fled their country in 1972.

Two weeks ago, the UNHCR held talks with the Tanzanian government and agreed that Burundian refugees should return home voluntarily, and that those who had stayed in the country for more than 45 years could be granted citizenship.

Home Affairs Minister Mwigulu Nchemba and UNHCR assistant high commissioner for protection Volker Türk committed to the voluntary return by refugees by the end of August.

“The government of Tanzania in collaboration with UNHCR is in the final stages of the naturalisation process for the 1972 Burundi refugees,” said UNHRC spokesperson Teresa Ongaro in a statement to The EastAfrican.