TANZANIA has expressed its political will in the search for 'durable solutions' to resolve the plight of refugees, but acknowledged that the process wouldn't come cheap - calling for huge amounts of resources and collective effort.
As a result, the government has underscored the role of non-governmental organisations to the initiative. The ministry's Refugee Services Department Assistant Director, Suleiman Mziray has also said the processes to seek durable solutions were slow, but reiterated the country's political will, both in hosting and in the search for durable solutions.
The country currently hosts over 350,000 documented refugees and asylum seekers mainly from Burundi and DR Congo. "Sometimes the government moves slower than what you expect ... that is because durable solutions touch several institutions and policies," Mr Mziray told a recent meeting in Dar es Salaam.
The two-day workshop was held to discuss durable solutions for refugees and refugee policy in the country. The symposium was jointly organised by three organisations: Asylum Access Tanzania (AAT), Tanzania Refugee and Migration Network (TAREMINET) and Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS).
There was evidence that civil society, government authorities, the projects and problems do not align themselves. "The alignment of programmes and projects is something which we must emphasise on issue of finding durable solutions," he insisted, noting that the programmes must not run at cross-purposes ... of each other.
"... we should be looking into issues of how displacement affects communities ... at how these could be integrated into regional authorities budget and how the stakeholders link up to ensure they are aligning the regional authorities to deliver particular kind of services for regional communities," he counseled.
The meeting also discussed self-reliance among the refugee communities, with some participants suggesting that the latter must be provided with identity cards to move around. They also argued that refugees need to be facilitated in developing their skills; and that they should also be trained to improve their ability to work.
The meeting agreed that to allow refugees to work legally would reduce the insecurity. On other hand, private sector was mentioned as part of key stakeholders to provide support to refugees and host communities.