The Star (Nairobi)

Tanzania Dumping Immigrants - Police

Police in Taveta have raised the alarm over the increasing number of illegal immigrants being dumped at the border by Tanzanian authorities. The immigrants, who are mostly from Ethiopia, are allegedly dumped at the Kenyan border by Tanzanian officials.

Speaking to the Star on the phone, Taveta police chief, Paul Kisang said that the immigrants have become a burden to the government since it is costly to repatriate them .

"When they are dumped at the border they sneak to Kenya where they move to the villages so that suspicious residents can report them to police for arrest," he said.

Kisang said that this has forced Kenyan authorities to re-arrest the aliens and charge them again for being in Kenya illegally.

"Two weeks ago we arrested 10 Ethiopians who were left stranded near the Kenyan border after completing their jail term in Tanzania. They were found in Kenya without valid documents which is illegal," said the police boss.

Kisang said that scores of the illegal immigrants have been repatriated while others are in remand.

"The ten who were arrested and taken to court are currently serving a two months imprisonment term.They will be repatriated once they complete their jail terms," he said.

He said that after completing their jail terms in Tanzania, they are usually escorted to the Kenyan border by Tanzanian authorities who perceive that the only way back to their country is through Kenya.

"When the illegal immigrants complete their jail term in Tanzania, they are usually escorted and left to the Taveta border because it is assumed that is their only route back home," he said.

Kisang criticized the Tanzanian officials for allegedly dodging the responsibility of repatriating the aliens back to their country and instead leave the burden to Kenya.

"It is the responsibility of Tanzania government to ensure that all aliens who are charged in their country are repatriated," lamented the police boss.

He said that the move has resulted to a backlog of aliens at the Taveta police divisional headquarters an issue he said was straining their resources.

"In most cases the aliens stay in our custody for more than the stipulated period of 28 days as the law requires because we source for the extra resources,"he said.

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