Registered Burundian refugees hit 25,884: Rwandan official

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, May 13, 2015
Adjust font size:

At least 25,884 Burundians have now been forced to abandon their homes and flee for lives, for fear of possible violence related to the forthcoming elections, the Rwandan Ministry of Refugees and Disaster Management said on Tuesday.

The ministry said it was working together with different humanitarian organizations including the the UN Refugee agency, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), to distribute emergency relief which comprised mainly of food, shelter, medication and water to new arrivals via different border posts between the two countries.

UNHCR said most of the Burundian refugees are waiting to be relocated in different camps across Rwanda, with the highest concentrations in Mahama (South East - 20,039), Bugesera (South East - 5160), Rusizi (South West - 594), Nyanza (South - 97) and Nyamiyaga (South East - 39).

Rwandan officials said the operation to relocate all Burundian refugees in southern Rwanda was currently being conducted in phases whereby they would be transferred to the newly established camp of Mahama in eastern Rwanda, a few kilometers from the Tanzanian border.

The new arrivals on the border include mainly women and children who have been the first group to be transferred to this region where there is enough space to accommodate all of them.

They have reportedly fled their villages, fearing they could be attacked by elements of pro-government youths, locally known as "Imbonerakure," meaning those who see far, who have been unleashing terror in Burundi rural areas.

Burundi's parliamentary elections are scheduled in May, followed by presidential election in June. But tension is already high ahead of the polls.

Local observers say the tension has been exacerbated by President Pierre Nkurunziza's decision to run for a third term, in violation of the Arusha peace and reconciliation deal that brought the country's civil war to an end in 2005.

According to the Rwandan government and the UNHCR, around 25,884 asylum seekers from Burundi arrived in the country over the last two months. Endi

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from