6 February 2018

Tanzania: 'Refugee Camp Security to Be Consolidated'

TANZANIA is considering tightening security at its refugee camps to respond to increasing security threats posed by refugees attempting to escape from the camps.

Deputy Minister for Home Affairs Engineer Hamad Yussuf Masauni told the National Assembly here yesterday that the government had resolved to heighten security especially at the Nyarugusu Refugee Camp.

"We are also instituting other measures, including charging those found escaping or having escaped from the camps," Eng Masauni said. He was responding to a supplementary question from Special Seats MP, Ms Mwanne Mchemba (CCM). The lawmaker had requested the government to outline measures it was taking to address security threats posed by refugees fleeing from their camps.

The MP who was interested to get details related specifically to Nyarugusu camp that admits mostly Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) refugees, said the situation was "worrisome." Eng Masauni said 30 per cent of illegal immigrants in the country entered through Kigoma Region; that 2,500 refugees were from DRC, some 1,976 of whom were at the Nyarugusu camp."

In addition, he said, the ministry had directed immigration officers to conduct regular checks in the region, to identify new immigrants and those who had escaped from camps. The deputy minister explained, however, that most refugees used illegal entries and some were still in hideouts. "We will flush them out and relocate them to the right place," he stressed.

Meanwhile, the MP said the government was striving to rehabilitate police facilities to respond to the current needs. He said the government had allocated 12.3bn/- in the current financial year 2017/18 mainly for ensuring that all facilities for the uniformed personnel were refurbished.

In his response to the basic question posed by Ms Mchemba, the deputy minister acknowledged that the officers' residential houses were dilapidated

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