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:


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