Burundi Govt. Accused Of Hunting Refugees In Tanzania Camps


Refugees from Burundi, who fled violence in their country to neighbouring Tanzania, have accused their government of sending armed men into a UN-run refugee camp to hunt down opposition supporters. Several refugees have told Al Jazeera that they fear for their lives and that there is no adequate security in the camps in Tanzania to protect them.

“The camp is currently not safe. We live in fear of Burundian government militia [members] who are in the camp,” one refugee said in a phone interview, after Al Jazeera visited a camp in north west Tanzania. The Burundian government has denied the allegations. More than 200,000 people have fled Burundi since the African country slipped into a violent political crisis, and half of the refugees have sought shelter in Tanzania.

Al Jazeera visited the Nduta camp, where over 40,000 refugees are currently staying.

But the team was only allowed to interview refugees who had been screened by officials from the UN refugee agency, the UNHCR. The UN said the screening was for the protection of refugees. However, other refugees in the camp who later spoke to Al Jazeera by phone said Burundi had dispatched agents who carried out attempted killings and abductions. One man told Al Jazeera that he narrowly escaped an abduction.