Burundi leader urges nearly 250,000 refugees to return home
DODOMA, Tanzania (AP) — Burundi’s president is urging the nearly quarter-million Burundians sheltering in Tanzania to return home, saying the country is now peaceful.
President Pierre Nkurunziza is visiting neighboring Tanzania on his first visit outside Burundi since a failed coup attempt in 2015.
The United Nations says more than 500 people have been killed in violence around Nkurunziza’s ultimately successful decision in 2015 to seek a disputed third term. Rights groups and the U.N. say the violence continues.
Nkurunziza made the remarks in a meeting Thursday with Tanzanian President John Magufuli. A statement from Tanzania’s presidency says Magufuli wants Burundian refugees “to voluntarily return home.”
Tanzania’s interior ministry says about 247,000 Burundians are in refugee camps in the Kigoma region.