The Ugly Sound of Gunfire Subsides South of Burundi, 70% who had fled to Tanzania Return Home—Official

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At least 70 percent of Burundian refugees who had fled to Tanzania due to the crisis in April 2015 from the Burundian’s southern province of Makamba have already returned home, the governor of Makamba said Sunday.

“Since September last year, 34,953 out of about 50,000 refugees (some 70 percent) who had fled some localities of Makamba province in the aftermath of the crisis have returned to their homes. Most of them were in Nyarugusu refugee camp in Tanzania,” said Makamba Governor Gad Niyukuri.

According to him, most of those returnees are from Nyanza-Lac and Kayogoro districts.

Niyukuri said, “Burundian refugees are now returning massively, which proves that the province of Makamba is enjoying peace and security.”

He indicated that he met with Tanzanian administration authorities on June 15 in the Tanzanian town of Kigoma and requested them to facilitate the repatriation of Burundian refugees living in Tanzanian refugee camps.

Burundi descended into violence in April last year when Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza announced that he would seek a third term, which he later won.

Opponents say the president’s move violates the constitution and the 2000 Arusha Agreement, and mounted waves of protests.

Over 500 people are said to have been killed in violence while 270,000 Burundian citizens are reported to have sought exile in neighboring countries.

Tanzania received the biggest number of refugees, estimated at 144,000.

XINHUA