Published on The EastAfrican on 27th April 2021
Experts from the United Nations published a report, revealing the repression and torture of Burundian refugees and asylum seekers in Tanzanian refugee camps. The report accuses the Burundian government of colluding with Tanzania law enforcement to authorize refugees to be arrested on false charges and kidnapped to an unknown location or forcibly taken back to Burundi. It was reported that Burundian intelligence officers pose as refugees to identify Burundi’s political opponents in refugee camps, who are seized and detained by the Tanzanian police. The report states that refugees have described being arrested and taken to unknown locations where they are tortured until they agree to return to Burundi voluntarily.
This has led to a significant increase of Burundi refugees returning to Burundi for fear of their safety rather than a genuine desire to return to their home country. Nestor Bimenyimana, the General Director of refugee repatriation in Burundi, has refused to comment on the allegations of human rights abuses in Tanzanian refugee camps.