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Tanzania naturalizes thousands of Barundi refugees

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Thousands of Burundi refugees who fled conflict from their home country to Tanzania have been naturalized, and granted citizenship.

Official statistics indicate that over 160.000 Barundi had applied for citizenship, with many successful, the regional Defence and Security Committee chairman for Katavi region Major General (rtd) Raphael Muhuga, has said.

The Katavi region is host to Katumba and Mishamo in Mpanda district, home to refugee settlements occupied by Burundi nationals who fled their country following the violence that erupted last April after President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he was running for a third term.

Since then about 400.000 Barundi have left their country, majority moving to nearby Tanzania. However, there is a caveat for those with the recently-granted citizenship: they should not accommodate those who have not been naturalized, the Tanzania Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa, has warned.

According to reports, Mr. Majaliwa, while touring the region on Saturday, ordered all Burundians illegally staying in the camps to return to their country lest the face the wrath of the host country. He also ordered General Muhunga to ensure that his directive is adhered to, and also urged the refugees to desist from assisting in the proliferation of small arms into Tanzania.

 

 

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