Tanzania vows to reinforce relations with UNHCR

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Tanzania's President John Magufuli addresses a news conference during his official visit to Nairobi, Kenya October 31, 2016. Reuters

ARUSHA (Xinhua) – Tanzania has vowed to continue strengthening its relationship with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as it grants asylum to refugees from neighbouring countries.

Home Affairs Minister Kangi Lugola made the pledge when he met with UNHCR representative to Tanzania, Chansa Kapaya.

The two discussed issues related to refugees as well as how Tanzania will continue to host asylum-seekers in collaboration with the UN refugee agency and in accordance with the laws and regulations.

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Mr Lugola asserted that Tanzania will hardly succeed in accommodating refugees without the cooperation of the UN refugee agency.

“Some refugees have started to voluntarily return to Burundi hence the need to work closely with the UNHCR to ensure their safe return,” Mr Lugola said, adding that his ministry has been in regular meetings with the agency to accomplish the mission.

Ms Kapaya commended the Tanzanian government for being supportive to the agency. She said there had been regular consultations between the UNHCR and the government to ensure successful cooperation.

Tanzania is the largest host of Burundian refugees in the region. Women and children make up 78 percent of the total refugee population. It has also granted naturalisation to more than 162,000 Burundian refugees who fled in 1972.

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