This has been announced on Tuesday, by the Burundian Home Affairs Minister, Pascal Barandagiye, after having signed the repatriation convention with the representatives of the High Commissioner for Refugees in Burundi.
The agreement comes after hundreds of refugees based in the camp of Nduta in Tanzania, two days ago, had demonstrated to ask for voluntary repatriation.
The Minister of Home Affairs told reporters that over 6,800 refugees would have returned in the country in less than two months.
“According to the convention we have just signed 6,867 refugees will have repatriated before 31 October and the remaining others will arrive by the end of December this year”, Barandagiye said.
Tanzania camps shelter nearly 230,000 refugees who fled the country since the outbreak of the violence, in 2015, when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he would run for the third term in office.
Over one month ago, the Burundian President had paid a courtesy visit to his counterpart, the Tanzanian president John Magufuli, during which he called on all the refugees to return in the country.
However, the call seems has not been heard by the refugees who are in Rwanda, made of the Tutsis for the vast majority.
The diplomatic relations between Burundi and Rwanda kept deteriorating since 2015, one accusing another of “undermining its security.”
The Home Affairs Minister has finger pointed Rwanda authorities of taking hostage the Burundian refugees.
“We had also told the refugees in Rwanda to register in order to return in their country but you know that Rwandan authorities don’t want them to return, Barandagiye pointed out before adding, “they have taken them hostage for unknown reasons.”
Abel Mbilikinyi, the Representative of HCR in Burundi, told reporters that the refugees who are to be repatriated will assisted in food for a period of three months.
He said that 400,000 was the number of Burundians who have exiled in the neighbouring countries and that only could be repatriated those who are willing to return.
Tuesday 5 September 2017 21:00