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Tanzania: 24,000 Burundi arrivals in 2 months

Briefing notes

Tanzania: 24,000 Burundi arrivals in 2 months

4 February 2000

Pending positive developments in the peace process in Burundi, refugees continue to flow to Tanzania.

Since the 1st of January 2000, an estimated 24,000 Burundians have crossed the border to seek asylum in the refugee camps in Tanzania.

People interviewed at the border are reporting frequent battles between the Burundi Army and rebels. Many said their houses had been burned.

The majority of the new refugees are women and children who say the men are reportedly arrested or disappear when they go to participate in compulsory night neighbourhood patrols organized by the military.

The food situation and conditions of hygiene in Burundi appear to be precarious. Many newly arrived children are malnourished and suffering from malaria.

This substantial influx led to the establishment of the Karago camp in the Kibondo district of Tanzania in late December. After only one month, this camp is already filling up with a population of more than 26,000 people.

In addition to the Burundian influx, Tanzania is also receiving Congolese refugees. In January, 1,100 Congolese refugees arrived in Kigoma, joining another 100,000 Congolese refugees already in Tanzania.

As of 31 January, UNHCR is assisting 440,000 refugees in Tanzania, of whom 330,000 are Burundians, 101,000 are Congolese and 20,000 Rwandans.