Bujumbura (Agenzia Fides) - Over 410,000 Burundians have taken refuge in neighboring countries for the last two years. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports that this number is expected to increase by the end of the year.
A UN body spokesman also said that refugees claim to flee for fear of persecution and violations of human rights committed in their Country, including rape and sexual violence.
Tanzania welcomes most Burundian refugees, where 249,000 of them live in three extremely crowded camps. Tens of thousands of Burundians have been welcomed in Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
That of Burundi is the third most important refugee crisis in Africa, but UNHCR has received only 2% of the $250 million needed to handle the situation. Reception areas are completely full while new refugees arrive every day. New structures must be built and existing ones expanded. The educational assistance for children is very difficult, with classes that are unable to hold new pupils.
Neighboring Countries have begun to reject in some cases refugees who present themselves at the borders.
The Burundian crisis broke out in 2015 following the third mandate of President Pierre Nkurunziza, in violation of Arusha's constitution and peace agreements. Since then, the Country has been living in a state of constant tension between the violence committed by pro-government militia and those of some guerrilla groups who oppose the President. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 26/5/2017)