Burundi: The repatriation of Burundian refugees continues as tensions persist between Burundi and Rwanda.

Burundi: The repatriation of Burundian refugees continues as tensions persist between Burundi and Rwanda.
Burundian refugees in Mahama camp continue to return to their native country in large numbers. This Wednesday March 3, 2021, 1,018 Burundians returned to the country while around 1,200 left every Wednesday of the week. Those from Mahama camp in Rwanda return voluntarily, in well-organized repatriation operations.
The Burundians who are in the refugee camps in Tanzania are the unhappiest. Those who do not agree to return because they do not yet feel safe in their native country are mistreated: some are killed, others imprisoned in Tanzania, still others are kidnapped at night by the police and taken away at the border where they are handed over without any administrative formality to the Burundian intelligence service. The crops of those who remain in the camp are destroyed in broad daylight when the food ration has sharply reduced to increase the volume of the return package for those who return. A dishonest way of forcing them back.
Refugees in DR Congo continue to complain that the food ration is distributed too late, the insecurity around the camps preventing them from leaving to pursue other income-generating activities. Those in Kenya also complain about the lack of water in the camps with the problems of diseases including Covid-19 that can ensue.
All these difficult living conditions are pushing the Burundian refugees to return to the country. Most decide to return, although they are not reassured by the security that reigns in Burundi. Some have already been killed (example of a certain Eric, from Gatete hill, Gasare zone in Busoni commune in Kirundo province, repatriated from Mahama to Rwanda in the 3rd round and who was kidnapped from his home after spending only two days at home), others were imprisoned (the most recent example is that of a certain Jean Damascène from Maramvya in Mutimbuzi commune in rural Bujumbura, recently repatriated from South Africa), still others are under surveillance of imbonerakure, especially those from Rwanda wrongly accused of having learned of the reshuffle of weapons. In November 2020, it was the head of the SNR in Kirundo province who said that the returnees from Mahama had undergone military training, that they should be monitored. In December of the same year, MP Remy Bigirumusase from Kirundo said in a meeting that returnees from Mahama in Rwanda will always seek to destroy the country, and asked the administration to follow them closely.
These repatriation movements are taking place in a particular context of tensions between Burundi and Rwanda where in recent days, members of the FDLR / FLN stationed in Kibira in Burundi have launched attacks on Rwandan citizens, forcing RDF to intervene to protect his population; which provoked confrontations on the common border. We learned that many Burundian soldiers including officers who would have interposed between the two forces or who supported the FDLR / FLN were injured, there were also deaths. The wounded are not treated at the Military Hospital as usual, they receive treatment in military camps. This is to keep them out of sight of civilians. And it is also likely that wounded FDLR / FLN members will also be treated alongside FDNB members in these military camps. At the same time, they set up morgues in Gakumbu, the place that housed the South African military, near Bujumbura airport.
This tension is far from over when the FDLR / FLN who did not fall in the battle camp are still in the Kibira under the complicit eye of the Burundian authorities and the FDNB. We dare to hope that the Burundian soldiers will no longer accept being sent to fight against an unidentified enemy because our source close to the units that were sent to the front told us that the officers had been briefed that they were going to fight against the FDLR / FLN, but they found themselves between two crossfires.
It is in this context of conflicts for which the date of its outcome is unknown that the Burundian refugees are being repatriated. There is a great risk that they will return to exile if Gitega’s power continues to engage in talks with its northern neighbour and at the same time maintain attacking enemies. When a neighbour’s house burns down, there is a high probability that yours will also be hit by fire. There will therefore be no peace in Burundi as long as the neighbours do not have it and vice versa
URN HITAMWONEZA once again calls on the EAC countries to do everything to find lasting solutions to the border conflicts between the member states and especially to the negative forces which abound in the east of the DRC and which disrupt the security of the country and the countries neighbours. The case of FDLR / FLN which disturbs Rwanda is simple; a will on both sides is enough to organize a joint force which would neutralize in a short time these negative forces stationed in the Kibira. But if the cnddfdd power decides to maintain and support these forces on its territory, it will require draconian measures against it because it will have been visible that Ndayishimiye and his clique only dream of causing genocide in their country and in the Great lakes’ sub-region. The international community must keep a vigilant eye on Burundi instead of thinking of resuming cooperation as long as this country has shown no sign of goodwill in the sense of the resolution of this conflict, but also in the sense of respect for human rights in Burundi in general.

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