MORE than 700 illegal immigrants have been apprehended in Kagera Region following a crackdown on aliens launched by the government on Friday.
The Kagera Regional Commissioner, Col. Fabian Massawe, said during the search two guns and 1,300 head of cattle belonging to illegal immigrants were seized.
RC Massawe stressed that the operation is not targeting one country but all illegal immigrants. He said the aliens are from Kenya, Somali, Burundi, Uganda, Rwanda and the Democractic Republic of Congo (DRC).
"It should be understood that we are not targeting one nation. But those who are staying in the country illegally. These include those from Uganda, Somali, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and DRC. And the operation adheres to human rights laws," RC Massawe explained.
He called upon Kagera residents to collaborate and work with state security organs in the area who are conducting the operation to flush out illegal immigrants in hiding in villages.
On the same note, Col Massawe warned local leaders who are harbouring illegal immigrants to refrain from such acts and report those hiding to authorities. He said the operation include officers from the Intelligence Unit, PCCB, Police and Immigration.
Last week the Head of Communications at the Immigration Department, Mr Abbas Irovya told journalists that a total of 21,192 aliens have voluntarily left Tanzania for their countries of origin. The illegal immigrants were living in Rukwa, Kigoma and Kagera regions.
They include 14,371 Burundians, 6,411 Rwandans, 306 Ugandans, 20 Zambians and 84 Congolese. President Jakaya Kikwete issued a two week ultimatum to illegal immigrants and individuals possessing firearms illegally to surrender to local leaders and police before a crackdown commences.
He said those who would fail to surrender would then face criminal charges. The president issued this precaution in Biharamulo District where he laid the foundation stone for the construction of Kigoma-Kusahunga road.