Former Burundian Refugees Head Home from Tanzania
Busloads of returnees arriving in Burundi’s Musenyi transit centre from Mtabila refugee camp in Tanzania. The new arrivals are escorted by a delegation of UNHCR and members of the Burundian government.
They are registered upon arrival so that they can get national identity cards and other required documents.
After registration, returnees like this man collect a one-month food package provided by WFP.
WFP also provides the returnees with cooked meals before they start the last leg home.
Their belongings are packed into trucks that will take them back to their areas of origin.
Cyriaque Ndayikengurukiye, 18, was born in Mtabila camp in 1994, a year after his parents arrived in Tanzania, fleeing Burundi’s 1993 civil war. He hardly speaks a word of his parent’s native language, Kirundi. He recalls his parents collecting food twice a month. He learned later the food came from WFP.
Around 35,000 former refugees are returning home to Burundi after spending nearly two decades in Tanzania. Their homecoming comes after Tanzanian authorities ordered the closure of the last Burundian refugee camp, Mtabila, by the end of 2012.