Burundi: Population Movement - Emergency Appeal n° MDRBI008


During the past decade over 525,000 Burundians have voluntarily returned home, while more than 94,000 Burundians still remain as refugees in neighboring countries, including in Tanzania. In 2011, the Tanzanian Government informed its partners that it would close Mtabila camp by the end of 2012 and repatriate all the Burundian refugees living in the camp and on 1 August, 2012, the Government of Tanzania revoked the refugee status for the majority of the Burundian refugees living in Mtabila camp.

As of 11 December, 2012 a total of 33,819 refugees from Mtabila camp were repatriated into Burundi and have since been resettled in different provinces in the country. However a few remain in a temporary transit camp inside Burundi as they await availability of land and re-establishment of their family links. According to the Government of Tanzania, beginning 1 January, 2013 any former Burundian Refugee found in or outside the Mtabila camp would be classified as an illegal migrant and will therefore be subjected to the Tanzanian immigration law, which includes deportation. A total of 1,673 former Burundian refugees are currently in Tanzania with their whereabouts unknown. These refugees will likely be illegally living in Tanzania after 2012 and subject to forced deportations.

The repatriation of the Burundian refugees from Mtabila camp is being facilitated by the Tanzanian Government, Burundi Government, UNHCR, IOM and other partners with the support of Burundi Red Cross and Tanzania Red Cross.