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UN: Nearly 400,000 Burundian Refugees Return Home From Tanzania


The United Nations refugee agency says nearly 400,000 Burundian refugees have returned home, after spending years in Tanzanian camps.

The agency says as of March, it had helped repatriate 300,000 Burundians. It says approximately 89,000 more refugees have returned to Burundi on their own.

The refugee agency says around 102,000 Burundian and 96,000 Congolese refugees remain in camps in northwestern Tanzania - the lowest number in 15 years.

The agency called the repatriations a "milestone" in its efforts to find durable solutions for the Burundian refugees.

In the early 1990s, nearly half a million Burundians took shelter in Tanzania after fleeing violence in their homeland.

The U.N. began helping the refugees return home in 2002, after peace efforts began in Burundi.

The refugee agency says it is also working with the Tanzanian government to resolve the situation of 218,000 Burundians who fled to Tanzania in 1972.

These refugees have been in a state of limbo for the past three decades, confined to three settlements designated by Tanzanian authorities.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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