100,000 Burundian refugees already back home

At least 100,000 Burundian refugees who had fled the country's 2015 crisis have already returned home, the Burundian home affairs minister said Wednesday on the sidelines of a meeting with leaders of political parties.

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“By now, more than 100,000 Burundian refugees who had fled the crisis in April 2015 have already returned to their villages. Most of them were in Tanzanian and in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo),” said Burundian Home Affairs and Civic Education Minister Pascal Barandagiye.

According to him, many Burundian refugees have been coming back home from Tanzania and the DR Congo that are cooperating well with Burundi in terms of repatriation of those refugees.

Barandagiye said, “The problem we are facing is Rwanda that does not want to cooperate with us (Burundi) for the repatriation of Burundian refugees living in Rwanda.”

He added that all mechanisms have been put in place to receive returnees in peace and dignity.

“We have prepared transit sites that will receive returnees before they reach their home villages,” said Barandagiye.

He also announced that UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Volker Türk, is visiting some African Great Lakes countries including Burundi and Rwanda by the end of this month.

Relations between Burundi and Rwanda have deteriorated after Burundi accused Rwanda of hosting and supporting perpetrators of the May 13, 2015 coup plot against Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza.

Burundi has suffered turmoil since April 2015 when President Nkurunziza decided to run his controversial third term in violation of the national constitution and the 2000 Arusha Agreement that ended a decade-long civil war.

More than 500 people in Burundi have been killed and the UN Refugee Agency estimates that about 300,000 people fled to neighboring countries mostly Tanzania, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) and Uganda since the outbreak of the crisis. Enditem

Source: Xihua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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