The ongoing violence and prevailing political instability in Burundi has led to a conundrum for its neighbours, a refugee crisis which is threatening to spiral out of control, if the political crisis is not quickly resolved.
According to reports, “more than 230,000 refugees have…fled to neighbouring countries,” and these countries, including Tanzania, are experiencing overcrowding in the refugee camps.
Relief organisations have been calling for urgent assistance, with growing concerns over the humanitarian situation in the the neighbouring countries and in Burundi itself.
About 120,000 people from Burundi have fled to Nyarugusu camp in Tanzania and the UNHCR’s representative in Tanzania, Joyce Mends-Cole, reportedly said the number of refugees at the camp has increased from around 60,000 to about 160,000 persons.
While the UNHCR and other aid groups are working to avert a humanitarian crisis in refugee camps, a political solution to address Burundi’s crisis remains elusive.
Burundi has descended into chaos and political uncertainty following months of fighting between civilians, anti-government gunmen and government forces.
The political crisis over President Pierre Nkurunziza’s unconstitutional extension of his presidency has not shown any signs of receding.
Regional efforts to broker peace have not been successful and the security situation in Burundi has remained precarious. To save lives, restore peace and security, the African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC) in December last year made a decision to deploy 5 000 troops to Burundi.
However, Bujumbura rejected the African Prevention and Protection Mission to Burundi (MAPROBU), putting the country on an uncertain political trajectory.
Source: ABC Net