UNHCR welcomes the conclusions of the 21st Meeting of the Tripartite Commission for the Voluntary Repatriation of Burundian Refugees
The Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, represented by H.E. Kangi Lugola, Minister of Home Affairs, the Government of the Republic of Burundi represented by HE. Mr. Pascal Barandagiye, Minister of Interior, Patriotic Formation and Local Development and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) represented by Mr. George Okoth-Obbo, Assistant High Commissioner for Operations recognized the generosity of the Tanzanian people for hosting refugees, acknowledged the provisions of the Tripartite Agreement of May 2001 and reaffirmed that repatriation will continue to be facilitated for those Burundian refugees whose registered intention to return and the voluntariness of their decision has been verified. They further noted that while some refugees may opt to return now, others will continue to benefit from international protection.
The Tripartite meeting was preceded by a meeting of the Technical Working Group during which a joint report to the Tripartite Commission was produced, a joint workplan established, and other specific technical issues were agreed.
Since September 2017, nearly 80,000 Burundian refugees have been assisted to return home, mainly from Tanzania. Tanzania currently hosts over 278,000 refugees, of whom some 166,000 are Burundians living in three camps in North Western Tanzania.