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Kenya: registration of Tanzanians begins

Briefing notes

Kenya: registration of Tanzanians begins

5 June 2001

UNHCR has started registration for the return of 506 Tanzanian refugees from Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya's north-eastern region to Pemba and Zanzibar. Their voluntary return is scheduled to begin in the third week of June. Last month, more than 600 Tanzanian refugees were repatriated from the makeshift camp in Shimoni back to the Tanzanian island of Pemba. The returning group included 17 legislators who fled to Kenya following bloody clashes between opposition supporters and government security forces last January. A UNHCR monitoring mission to the islands of Pemba and Zanzibar reported last week that the situation in both islands had improved and no reports of harassment had been received from those who have recently returned home.

The government of Tanzania had given assurances that upon their return to Pemba, the refugees would not be prosecuted as a group for their involvement in the January demonstrations. A handful of returnees currently face charges ranging from destruction of property to minor traffic violations.