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BURUNDI / RWANDA: REFUGESS RETURN TO RWANDA FROM BURUNDI

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Some 2,000 refugees returned to Rwanda from Burundi on Tuesday (February 20) in response to a campaign by local officials and the United Nations (U.N.) refugee agency to bring them home. U.N. officials said on Wednesday that more refugees should follow them. The number of refugees returning began increasing after U.N. officials and Burundian soldiers started joint visits to camps early last week encouraging their return, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) officials said. Burundi is home to 90,000 Hutus who fled after 1994's genocide of up to a million Tutsis and allied Hutus. There are another one million refugees in Zaire and 493,000 in Tanzania. Tuesday's repatriation from Burundi, from Rukuramigabo camp in the north, was the biggest since February 15 when 2,000 refugees crossed in one day, UNHCR officials said. A similar campaign in Zaire to use the military to pressure refugees into going home has had little success so far. Zaire last week deployed troops outside the sprawling camp of Kibumba in Goma region and a smaller camp in Bukavu further to the south, to curb refugee movements and halt commercial activity. The refugees have defied the pressure so far. A UNHCR official at the Rwandan border on Wednesday said that the refugees were being assisted by the Rwandan government. They would be taken to transit centres in south Kigali, given food and basic (building) materials, such as plastic sheeting, and transported to their place of origin.

dc:identifier
043-00039318
dc:source
Reuters News
dc:title
BURUNDI / RWANDA: REFUGESS RETURN TO RWANDA FROM BURUNDI
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MovingImage
mhub:credit
Reuters
dc:description
Some 2,000 refugees returned to Rwanda from Burundi on Tuesday (February 20) in response to a campaign by local officials and the United Nations (U.N.) refugee agency to bring them home. U.N. officials said on Wednesday that more refugees should follow them. The number of refugees returning began increasing after U.N. officials and Burundian soldiers started joint visits to camps early last week encouraging their return, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) officials said. Burundi is home to 90,000 Hutus who fled after 1994's genocide of up to a million Tutsis and allied Hutus. There are another one million refugees in Zaire and 493,000 in Tanzania. Tuesday's repatriation from Burundi, from Rukuramigabo camp in the north, was the biggest since February 15 when 2,000 refugees crossed in one day, UNHCR officials said. A similar campaign in Zaire to use the military to pressure refugees into going home has had little success so far. Zaire last week deployed troops outside the sprawling camp of Kibumba in Goma region and a smaller camp in Bukavu further to the south, to curb refugee movements and halt commercial activity. The refugees have defied the pressure so far. A UNHCR official at the Rwandan border on Wednesday said that the refugees were being assisted by the Rwandan government. They would be taken to transit centres in south Kigali, given food and basic (building) materials, such as plastic sheeting, and transported to their place of origin.
dc:subject
politics
unrest, conflicts and war
mhub:temporal-coverage
1996-02-21