Tanzania Daily News
Monday, September 16, 2013
THE United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees, (UNHCR) office in Dar es Salaam has confirmed with their
counterparts in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of
Congo (DRC) that no registered refugee had been forced out of Tanzania
According to press statement issued in Dar es Salaam by the Ministry
of Home Affairs and signed by the Ministry's Spokesperson, Isaac
Nantanga since last month (August) a total of 27,000 illegal immigrants
have been repatriated.
"Initially, these (refugees) were given two options. They were
required to observe immigration procedures to acquire the refugee status
or leave the country voluntarily. They failed to comply and had to
leave. The allegations that registered refugees had been forced out of
Tanzania are unfounded, incorrect and malicious because these are not
refugees but illegal immigrants," reads the statement.
The statement adds; "The media outlets allegedly quoted a special
report by a UN organisation. The reports were aimed at tarnishing the
good name of Tanzania which has for so long been safe-haven for refugees
from the Great Lakes Region."
It was revealed that the last time that refugees from Burundi were
repatriated was in 2012 whereby 34,000 of them went back home willingly.
The refugees had been sheltered at the Mtabila refugee camp in Kigoma
region and were repatriated during joint operation conducted by the
governments of Burundi, Tanzania and the United Nations High Commission
for Refugees (UNHCR).
"No time has Tanzania forcibly repatriated refugees. Repatriations
are only conducted when deemed fit and the refugees willingly returned
to their countries of origin under close monitoring of the UNHCR," adds
Apart from those who have been repatriated voluntarily, there are
still some refugees who are living in the country after being given
refugee status. These include 64,172 refugees from the DRC who are being
sheltered at Nyarugusu camp in Kasulu district in Kigoma region.
In addition, there are 175,473 refugees from Burundi at different
camps in Katavi and Tabora regions as well as 2,128 refugees from
Somalia at Chogo camp in Tanga region. In total, there are 264,000
refugees in the country.