According to the home affairs ministry report more than thirty thousand Burundians were repatriated from neighboring countries and have been re-integrated in the community in the last six months.
33,963 people from 11,336 families returned to their motherland after fleeing the 2015 political crisis that led to hundreds of thousands of people fleeing the country while almost one thousand people losing their lives.
“This semester the Government of Burundi received Burundian who fled the country and majority of them have rejoined their families,” said Gervais Ndirakobuca the Home Affairs minister.
The report comes as the voluntary repatriation of refugees is still ongoing that started three years ago mostly coming Rwanda, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, and Malawi.
Currently Tanzania holds the highest number of Burundians who were voluntarily repatriated (23,821) followed by Rwanda (7,897), Democratic Republic of Congo (1,949), Uganda (231), Kenya (60), Zambia (40), and Malawi (1).
In August 2017 representatives of Burundi and Tanzanian government alongside the UN refugee agency held a tripartite meeting to facilitate voluntary repatriation of Burundian refugees from Tanzania.
Since 2017 Thousands of Burundian refugees from neighboring Tanzania returned to their home country under the tripartite agreement between Tanzanian government, UNHCR and Burundi.
The repatriation of the Burundian refugees from Rwanda comes after a tripartite meeting between UNHCR, Burundi and Rwanda on the facilitation of the voluntary repatriation of the refugees was conducted in August 2020.
Despite the borders remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the repatriation of Burundian refugees from Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda continued with medical team and mobile laboratories put in place for the screening of the returnees.