Tanzania: Burundian refugees overwhelm reception camps

| May 18, 2015

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The migration of 11,000 Burundian refugees into western Tanzania is overwhelming the capacity of local and international humanitarian organizations, according to the Tanzanian Ministry of Home Affairs.

More than 50,000 Burundians have fled to neighbouring countries in recent weeks amid violent protests triggered by President Pierre Nkurunziza’s plan to run for a third term. Army officers attempted a coup last week and there is uncertainty over what will happen in the coming days.

James Rusana is the chairman of Lusolo village in Kagunga, in western Tanzania. He said the refugees, including more than 8,000 women and children, face the risk of diseases such as diarrhoea and cholera due to poor sanitation, overcrowding, and a lack of food.

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Photo: A UNHCR official (L) receives Burundian refugees as they arrive at Kagunga village in Lake Tanganyika, in Tanzania’s western region of Kigoma, May 9, 2015. Credit: REUTERS/Stringer