Stop Violence Against Burundian Refugees in Tanzania

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Since 2015, the country of Burundi is embroiled in a deep political crisis that led thousands of Burundians to seek exile in neighbouring countries, Tanzania being one of them. Unfortunately, the relief of the refugees was brief. The refugee camp of Ndunta, Tanzania, is the regular target of attacks led by armed henchmen who are allegedly coming from Burundi. Before they become subject to physical abuses, Burundian refugees were harassed to return back to their country by both their government and the host state. Subject to harassment and constant threats to return home, now they are trapped in a spiral of violence that they fled in the first place. Women are raped, men are tortured and killed.

Burundian refugees live in constant state of fear and terror in refugee camps where they were supposed to be safe. The 1951 United Nations convention and its 1967 Protocol as well as international and regional legal instruments grant refugees the protection they deserve as they flee from violence and persecution. So, why is UNHCR silent in front of the blatant violations of human rights that Burundian refugees are facing in Tanzanian camps?

The UNHCR has the duty and obligation to protect them. We call upon the UNHCR to establish immediate measures to ensure the security of Burundian refugees. We urge the international community to investigate these cases of abuses and to help resolve the ongoing conflict in Burundi. We call upon the Tanzanian government to uphold the rights of refugees who came to their land seeking protection and stop being accomplice in the violation of human rights of the most vulnerable.

Persecuting a refugee fleeing violence is a horrendous crime, and this should immediately stop.


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