Burundi

Burundian refugees choke camps In Tanzania

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DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (PANA) - The government of Tanzania has warned that the continuous influx of refugees from Burundi could strain available resources and endanger the country's security.
"If the influx confirms our worst fears, we may have to ask regional authorities to allocate more land for setting up new camps," the interior minister, Ali Ameir Mohamed, said.

He added that the security detail will also be beefed up to deal with acts of terrorism.

Refugees are known to terrorise villagers living near camps with arms brought from their countries of origin.

It is estimated that an average 3,000 Burundians cross over into Tanzania daily to escape sporadic fighting between Hutu rebels and government forces.

But the refugees are now choking camps and overburdening services.

The Kigoma regional commissioner, Abubakar Mgumia, said 6,000 Burundians entered Tanzania 1 January.

Aid agency workers confirm that the unprecedented influx has put a strain on resources and was posing a serious health hazard to the displaced persons.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees said it may be forced to make contingency plans for the new arrivals in addition to 200,000 already in camps in western Tanzania.

But Tanzania expects it will have to shoulder the burden of sheltering the refugees until such a time that the Burundi peace process is rekindled.

The peace process is expected to resume in January under the newly appointed mediator, retired South African Ppresident Nelson Mandela.

Mandela assumed the mantle following the death of former Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere.

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