Burundi + 1 more

Tanzania Faces Refugee Problems

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DAR ES SALAAM (Jan. 17) XINHUA - Tanzania is exposed to serious security problems in the western Kigoma and Kagera regions because of the influx of Burundi refugees, a government official has said.
Some refugees have been engaged in criminal acts and some even have gone to the extent of coordinating underground political and military activities against their own countries while in Tanzania, said Tanzanian Minister for Home Affairs Ali Muhammed on Sunday.

Briefing visiting United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) chief Sadaka Ogata here on Sunday evening, the minister said it is discouraging to note that when Tanzania is trying hard to deal with the security problems caused by rogue refugees, the Burundi regime has continued to accuse Tanzania of training that country's rebels.

He told the UNHCR chief that another problem which has engulfed the refugee camps is the shortage of vital working tools such as vehicles and radio calls for the police personnel to carry out their duties.

There is also the need for refugees to be issued with identity cards so that they can be easily identified, he said.

Ogata's visit comes as thousands of Burundians flock into Tanzania each day, filling up the refugee camps in west Tanzania.

Tanzanian authorities hope that the visit by the U.N. refugee chief will attract more international attention on the plight of thousands of refugees hosted by the country.

Last Friday, Tanzania and Burundi agreed to speed up their consultations on border issues after two days of top-level talks between the presidents and security advisors of the two neighboring countries.

Copyright (c) 2000 Comtex Scientific Corporation
Received by NewsEdge Insight: 01/17/2000 03:44:56