More Burundi refugees flee to Uganda

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Burundi refugees

By The East African

Uganda registered an overall 32 per cent drop in new refugee arrivals in the month of July, but according to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees latest update covering between July 1 and 31, there has been a more than normal spike in Burundian refugee arrivals.

Arrivals from Burundi in July, increased by 121 per cent compared with numbers for the previous month, with total influx from the country for the month peaking at 861.

From July 1 to 30, a total of 8,295 new refugees crossed into Uganda; some 6,490 were from the DRC, while those from South Sudan were 944 and Burundi, 861.

“This represents an overall decrease of 32 per cent compared with the previous month,” the UNHCR update says, noting that while both DRC and South Sudan had showed drops in arrival rates, Burundi arrivals showed a spike whose cause the UN Refugee Agency says remains unclear.

“We don’t know … Our arrival check point analysts are still studying the data,” Ms Duniya Aslam Khan, the UNHCR Uganda spokesperson.

Tanzania recently issued notice that it will repatriate Burundian refugees starting this October.

Some analysts argue that the rise in new arrivals from Burundi “was expected around this time” and “will continue into next year,” triggered by Tanzania’s plan to repatriate Burundian refugees, which comes barely eight months before Burundi goes to the polls in May 2020.

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