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Burundians march to dispute UNHCR figures indicating a surge in people fleeing the country


Hundreds of Burundians took to the streets on Saturday to protest against a UN report released earlier this week, saying that hundreds of people are fleeing the country every week.

Led by the assistant interior minister, the protesters slammed the report released by UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, as well as some media who broadcast the issue.

“There was false information on the BBC radio that about 500 Burundians flee the country everyday and that by the end of the year, there be half a million Burundians who will have fled the country, which is totally false. Apart from the fact that there is climate change and there are obviously signs of hunger in some regions, but the government together with partners is doing everything possible to help the affected population,” said Therence Ntahiraja, Assistant Interior Minister.

UNHCR said on February 7 that there was a surge in the number of people fleeing the country since the beginning of this year, adding to the pressure for lands in neighbouring host countries.

The agency estimates that since April 2015, over 386,000 Burundians have fled the country.

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