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Burundians still fleeing their country one year after political unrest

Burundians still fleeing their country one year after political unrest


Scores of Burundians are still crossing over the border into Tanzania a year after the start of political violence in that country.

According to the United Nations, April 25 marked exactly one year since violence swept through Burundi.

The violence followed an announcement of president Pierre Nkurunziza’s intentions to run for third term in office.

His announcement was opposed by the opposition and some military officers.

The UN’s High Commission for Refugees said the number of Burundian refugees living in neighbouring countries had risen to 250,000 and could rise further.

Suzana Misago is one of around 135,000 Burundian refugees who have escaped the horrors back home.

She lost her family during the conflict and has since February been living in the Nduta refugee camp across the border from Burundi, in northwest Tanzania.

“It was midday and the children had come from school,” she recollected. “They found us at home. I went to the kitchen to look for food to feed the children, and minutes later, some soldiers arrived and circled the plot and then came and killed my children and slit my husband’s throat.”

There are new arrivals at the camp daily.

And the UN appears to be having a hard time containing the increasing numbers.

The UNHCR has so far received $4.7 million of the $175.1 million it requested for the Burundi humanitarian response in 2016.

“We need to pay attention to the hardship these refugees are facing in the camps in Tanzania. We cannot fail this caseload,” said Dost Yousafzai, the Head of the UNHCR’s Sub office in Kibondo, Tanzania.

Fatou Bensouda, prosecutor of the International Criminal Court at the Hague on Monday April 25, said she was opening a preliminary probe into the violence in Burundi.