TANZANIA DEFENDS ITSELF

Midst severe criticism from the UN Secretary General, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and Amnesty International, Tanzania has defended its action in deporting 126 Burundi refugees who were later massacred by Burundian soldiers. Minister of Home Affairs Ali Ameir said that Tanzanian forces rounded up 157 Burundians who were engaged in factional fighting and had defied an order to turn themselves into Tanzanian police. Instead, they opted to return home after being identified as trouble makers by their fellow refugees. They were members of two radical Hutu groups fighting against the Tutsi-dominated Burundi government. The return to Rwanda of 500,000 Hutu refugees from Ngara and Karagwe was completed between December 14 and 29, 1996.

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