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Tanzania: Kigoma Congolese influx

Briefing notes

Tanzania: Kigoma Congolese influx

10 February 2000

The Kigoma area in Tanzania is experiencing a sporadic influx of Congolese refugees. On Tuesday (Feb. 8), a group of 111 Congolese arrived in Kigoma and reported that on February 5, rebels attacked the South Kivu village of Lulenge in an attempt to dislodge pro-government Mai Mai soldiers.

The refugees said rebels started to loot houses and tried to force men to join their forces. Since the beginning of this year, 1,300 Congolese have arrived in Tanzania, but the upsurge of fighting in south Kivu could bring a new influx of refugees.

The latest arrivals said many families had scattered in surrounding areas.

Compared with last month, the numbers of Burundian refugees arriving in Tanzania has slowed. In January, 23,000 Burundians crossed into Tanzania. So far this month, a few more than 3,000 people crossed the border.

Burundian authorities have reportedly begun dismantling 11 "regroupement" camps in the area of Bujumbura. But refugees arriving in Tanzania report continuing government attacks in villages in the southern area of Makamba. A substantial number of the new arrivals were young men who claimed they were specifically targeted by the soldiers.