Photo taken on Sept. 3, 2019 shows the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation Building built by China Railway Construction Engineering Group in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Tanzanian President John Magufuli and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Friday inaugurated the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation (MNF) Building built by China Railway Construction Engineering Group (CRCEG). (Xinhua)
Photo taken on Sept. 3, 2019 shows the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation Building built by China Railway Construction Engineering Group in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Tanzanian President John Magufuli and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Friday inaugurated the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation (MNF) Building built by China Railway Construction Engineering Group (CRCEG). (Xinhua)

Tanzanian authorities said on Wednesday they have seized 50 firearms, including military weapons, and arrested 17 suspects in two refugee settlements in the western region of Katavi.

Juma Homera, Katavi regional commissioner, said the 17 suspects, mostly Burundian refugees who were granted Tanzanian citizenship in 2014, were arrested in connection with the firearms in a special operation that lasted for 21 days.

He told a news conference that the firearms that were seized in Katumba and Mishamo refugee settlements resided by Burundian refugees who have been granted the citizenship included 13 sub-machine guns, three G3s, one rifle and 33 muzzle loaders.

Homera said the operation to seize the firearms was jointly conducted by the east African nation’s security and defense organs.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the seized firearms were being used in armed robberies and poaching of elephants, said Homera.

“A firearm such as a G3 which is a military weapon can be used in killing elephants,” said the official whose administration covers the Katavi National Park that boasts of a range of wild animals, including elephants and hippos.

In October 2019, Tanzanian President John Magufuli warned refugees against involvement in criminal acts, chiefly poaching and armed robberies, saying those implicated will face the full force of the law. Enditem

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