Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Red cross confirmes ethnic cleansing in Kagera, Tanzania

Evidance of the serious human right abuse in Kagera, Tanzania, is accumulating! But there are still no reports from independent observer inside Kagera. Lorries now pick people from their homes during nighttime. My impression is that too many "follow the situation from a distance", not realizing that there are already enough evidance for immediate observation on site! Read the words of this young women that tells Red Cross in Rwanda what happened :

Fayce Uwamwezi, a 26-year-old mother of three children and eight months pregnant, says that the local military had come around in the early evening and told everyone to get out as they were all going back to Rwanda, had no business being in Tanzania ? and that their house was to be burnt. ?I implored them to have pity on us,? she says, ?but they told me that if I didn?t leave the house with my children, they?d burn it anyway. My husband was then taken away and not allowed to talk to me.?Fayce has not seen her husband since and does not know where he is. Some people in the camp tell her that he is dead.
Source: http://www.ifrc.org/docs/news/06//06070601/index.asp

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Ex missionary in Kagera urge Sweden to speak

This mail came from a former Missonary in Kagera:
Sent: den 28 oktober 2006 17:58 To: Hans.Rosling@ki.se
Subject: Illegal deportations in Tanzania
Dear Hans,
Thanks a lot for bringing up this humanitarian catastrophy to light. Having worked for 7 years as a missionary in Karagwe, your appeal gave me reason to investigate further on the matter of illegal deportations of Tanzanian citizens.
I feel deeply shocked by the report I obtained this afternoon about rampant abuse of of human rights in a country where I and my family spent some of our best years in life. My source of information said that the local authorities, obviously with the consent of the Government of Tanzania, fill 7 to 8 lorries a day, each lorry with around 100 people packed like cargo, people whom they leave in a camp 10 kms inside Rwanda.
There have also been reports of rape and torture against alleged "foreigners", many of whom are born and bred by parents, whose parents in turn came from Rwanda.
It is high time Sweden speaks out. If there exists sincere friendship between our countries after such a long time of co-operation, then we cannot let the suffering citizens down.
Mapambano yanaendelea,
let the struggle continue for a better world, Birgitta Farelius

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Act against illigal expling of Tanzanian citizens!

My Oct 21 post yielded frightening information from Kagera. Tanzania is in full right to correctly expell illigal imigrants. But the world community is also in their full right to protest against illigal expelling of citizen due to their ethnic belonging. The Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affaire and others that need to act now must destinguish between two separate issues in Kagera:
1. Serious humanitarian issues re expelled illigal immigrants!
2. Human rights violations re illigaly expelled citizen.

This is a part of a mail I got from a relative to one of the illigaly expelled:

.... my sister has already been expelled recently from Kagera, Tanzania, after having lived there from the early 1970s. She is around 70 years of age, of poor health. She was picked up without notice and carried off to the border. Today, nobody knows of her whereabouts. My brothers and other family, who have lived all their life in Tanzania, now live in imminent fear and anxiety, not knowing when they will be rounded up and expelled.

The origin of this tragic state of affairs for my family started in the 1930s. My father, a man of Ugandan origin .... married my mother, a Tutsi woman, in Rwanda. However, my father, together with plenty of other Rwandans, got tired of being constantly harassed, beaten and humiliated by the Belgian colonial authorities, who were infamous for their ruthlessness. They left Rwanda by foot and crossed the woodlands into Tanzania. They built up lives as farmers in Tanzania ..... Kagera region..... in the early 1970s my above-mentioned sister joined them.
The have all gotten children in Tanzania, integrated, and speak the local language kinyambo fluently. They have laboured and contributed to make a more prosperous region out of Karagwe.
When Mwalimu Julius Nyerere came to Bukoba around 1980, he responded to complaints from local citizen about problems with foreigners in the region that Tanzanians should respect and show tolerance of their African brethren, and granted citizenship to most. John Chiligati, current Minister of Home Affairs, has stated explicitly that long-term immigrants will be given time and opportunity to acquire residence permits at a nominal price of 10,000/- TSh and also apply for citizenship.
In spite of these clear statements from the highest political authorities, the members of my family ? as well as many others ?, who have resided as law-abiding and productive members of Tanzanian society for many decades, are currently put in a situation of utmost anxiety. They do not know if, whether and when they will be rounded up and expelled to a country with which most of them have no or only sparse relation to. The rumour even goes that they will not even get time to bring or sell their belongings, livestock and so forth.........

Can one get clearer documentation of imminent ethnic cleansing ? I do not think what happens is planned by the Tanzanian government, to protest against local illigal action is not directed against the country, it is paying respect to the honourable human right records of Tanzania .

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Ethnic cleansing in Kagera in NW Tanzania??

Are human rights respected during the repatriation of refugees from Kagera Region in Tanzania to Rwanda? Tanzania is highly respected for the way this low-income countries has treated refugees from nearby war-torn countries, in spite of limited support from the international community. I have in the past personally visited such refugee communities along the boarder with Mozambique and Burundi. I was deeply impressed by the respectful integration of the refugees.

In 2006 the Tanzanian president decided to repatriate the refugees from Rwanda that stay in Kagera Region. This is acceptable as conditions have improved in Rwanda and as the track-record of Tanzania suggests that refugees will be correctly treated. I was therefore disturbed when I learnt from a very reliable source in Geneva that local authorities are using the repatriation to also expulse Tanzanian citizen that are children of Rwandan immigrants that arrived several decades ago and since long have Tanzanian citizenship. My source said his relatives had been forced on to trucks and deported from their Tanzania where they owned land and houses. The acts done by the local authorities are against the law and the decision by the president. I yesterday informed the Swedish government and urges for an inquiry. Is wide-spread ethnic cleansing silently developing in Kagera as those affected are scare to tell anything because it may cause more of their relatives to be expulsed? Are their any independent observer that can give news from in Kagera? The only thing I found on the Net is this article from Tanzania: http://www.dailynews-tsn.com/page.php?id=3774