Burundian refugees in Tanzania ‘threatened with forced repatriation'

Friday July 12 2019

Burundian refugees in a boat on their way to Tanzania on May 25, 2015. PHOTO | AFP


Burundian refugees in one camp in Tanzania say that the administration there has threatened them with forced repatriation.

The refugees told the BBC that they would not feel safe if they went home.

The Tanzanian government has denied that there is a plan to send the refugees back home from Nyarugusu camp, which is near the Burundian border.

The refugees told BBC Great Lakes that the head of the camp, Jumanne Singani, asked them to return voluntarily before they were forced back.

Mr Singani can be heard in audio recordings sent to the BBC by the refugees, urging them to leave because they were causing problems for locals.

The BBC contacted Mr Singani to ask for an explanation of his statement, he declined to comment and referred us to an official at the interior ministry.


“Tanzania has no plan to force Burundian refugees back home,” Christina Mwangosi, the ministry's spokesperson told the BBC.

More than 200,000 Burundian refugees live in Tanzania, most of them having fled the unrest of 2015.