"Both Kibondo and Kasulu districts are receiving large numbers of refugees, now averaging about 1,000 a day. However, numbers can vary greatly from day to day," said JRS project worker, Roxanne Shares SSND. All the camps in Kigoma region are full and a new camp, Karago, near Mtendeli in Kibondo district, was opened three weeks earlier than planned, on 23 December. The camp was opened by UNHCR to receive new arrivals from Burundi and currently holds some 17,000 refugees, Sr Shares said.
The majority of refugees are coming from Rutana, Ruyigi and Kinyinga areas in Burundi. They reported that homes and entire villages are being attacked and burned to chase people away to prepare for war. "Most refugees claimed this was done by the rebels, a few alleged that both army and rebels were involved," Sr Shares said. "Some tried to hide in the forests for a few days hoping to return home, but finding they were unable to do so, they moved to Tanzania." At present, four JRS personnel are carrying out pastoral/social work in the camps in Kibondo district.