Search

 

Cablegate: Refugee Update: Mtabila Burundi Resist Return; Unhcr On

VZCZCXRO1916
RR RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHDR #0882/01 3551337
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 211337Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9164
INFO RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RUEHJB/AMEMBASSY BUJUMBURA 3053
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 0021
RUEHLGB/AMEMBASSY KIGALI 1524
RUEHKI/AMEMBASSY KINSHASA 0349
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 1486
RUEHDS/USMISSION USAU ADDIS ABABA
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 0522

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DAR ES SALAAM 000882

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

DEPARTMENT FOR AF/E JTREADWELL, PRM WHENNING, INR FEHRENREICH

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PREF TZ
SUBJECT: REFUGEE UPDATE: MTABILA BURUNDI RESIST RETURN; UNHCR ON
TANZANIA'S RETURN OF CONGOLESE

REF: A. DAR ES SALAAM 758, B. DAR ES SALAAM 829

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Despite UNHCR's increased efforts to encourage
refugees in the Mtabila camp to return to Burundi, there has been
little movement. UNHCR suspects camp leaders are conducting
intimidation campaigns to discourage repatriation. Following
UNHCR's protest of the Tanzania's return of a group of new arrivals
from DR Congo without proper screening, the GOT has committed to
following proper procedures in future. GOT progress on planning for
the local integration of the naturalized 1972 Burundian population
remains slow. END SUMMARY.

Mtabila Camp: Refugees Holding Tight
------------------------------------
2. (SBU) UNHCR Acting Representative Indrika Ratwatte told donors on
December 11 that Burundian refugees in Mtabila camp continued to
resist repatriation. However, only 35 percent of the refugees cited
security concerns as the reason for their reluctance to return to
Burundi, according to a population profile completed in October
2009. UNHCR therefore had decided to increase incentives for a
period of six weeks, in hopes of substantially decreasing the camp's
population. The new repatriation package, announced December 7,
includes USD150 per person, a new bike for each family, a six month
ration of food and non-food items, and assistance in reclaiming or
identifying land for settlement. Although UNHCR was hopeful it
would see an immediate response from the refugees, these
enhancements have not increased voluntary repatriation. UNHCR
suspects camp leaders are conducting intimidation campaigns to limit
repatriation.

3. (SBU) UNHCR will continue to offer the package through January
15, after which it will ask the GOT for additional time to encourage
voluntary repatriation. However, Ratwatte said the regional
authorities in the Kigoma region are losing patience. In
particular, Ratwatte noted their concerns about Tanzania playing
host to a Hutu group, suspected to support former FNL rebel Pasteur
Habimana, as the July 2010 Burundi elections approach(ref a and b).


Return of Unscreened Congolese: UNHCR Protests
--------------------------------------------- -
4. (SBU) On November 11 and 12, 72 Congolese who arrived by boat on
November 8 were returned by the regional authorities in Kigoma
despite UNHCR's interventions with the local authorities and the
Ministry of Home Affairs. According to UNHCR, these Congolese
claimed to be fleeing hostilities between Mai Mai insurgents and
Congolese army forces in the Fizi Territory of South Kivu. However,
Ratwatte said GOT officials suspected these individuals to be
relatives of soldiers, seeking safe shelter for their families in
advance of renewed fighting. (Note: This is consistent with what we
heard from GOT sources (ref b). End Note.) UNHCR lodged a protest
with the Ministry of Home Affairs about this action, emphasizing the
need for GOT to allow UNHCR to evaluate claims to refugee status
before individuals are returned. Ratwatte said he received
assurances from the GOT that in future UNHCR would be permitted to
evaluate all claims of refugee status.

5. (SBU) Following the significant number of new arrivals in
September and October, Ratwatte reported there were no new arrivals
from DRC between mid-November and mid-December. He noted that the
National Eligibility Commission reviewed 376 asylum claims for 784
persons who arrived between May and November 2009. (Note: The
Commission is headed by the Director of Public Prosecution and
comprises representatives from the Office of the President, the
Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Home Affairs, Office of
the Inspector General of Police, Office of the Zanzibar Chief
Minister, the Ministry of Home Affairs, and UNHCR/UNICEF (as
observers only). End Note.) The Commission rejected all but 15
because they did not come from conflict zones within DR Congo.
Those whose applications were rejected, however, have been granted a
temporary right to remain in Tanzania because UNHCR will not return
any individuals to DR Congo until the situation stabilizes.

Local Integration of 1972 Burundi
---------------------------------
6. (SBU) The GOT's plans to "integrate" the naturalized 1972 Burundi
population remain nascent (Note: The GOT continues to insist that
the former refugees will be dispersed around Tanzania and away from
the settlements. End Note.). On December 7, The Prime Minister's
Office of Regional Administration and Local Governance (PMO-RALG)

DAR ES SAL 00000882 002 OF 002


convened its first meeting with eight Regional Commissioners and
UNHCR to discuss local integration plans. Ratwatte commented that
Minister of State Celina Kombani was not engaged on the issue and
had been poorly prepared by her senior advisors. The GOT had not
coordinated in advance on the process of integration or the roles
and responsibilities of local authorities. Thus, little progress
was made. PMO-RALG plans to hold an internal meeting in January to
identify the "modalities" for local integration before re-engaging
UNHCR on the issue.

Global Appeal
-------------
7. (U) Although there were only two donor representatives present at
this pre-holiday meeting, Ratwatte presented the outline of the 2010
Global Appeal. UNHCR is seeking USD32 million for refugee programs
and an additional USD13 million for local integration projects in
Tanzania. Some expenses related to the local integration effort are
embedded in the USD32 million for refugee programs. (Note: Ratwatte
told PolOff and PRM's Wendy Henning in October that the cost of
local integration would be more than USD20 million per year for two
years. (ref a))

LENHARDT

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

ALRANZ: Denounces US Senate Confirmation Of Judge Barrett

ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa denounces the US Senate’s confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court seat formerly held by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. “This action demonstrates the rank hypocrisy of the once-respected upper chamber ... More>>

OECD: COVID-19 Crisis Puts Migration And Progress On Integration At Risk, Says

Watch the live webcast of the press conference Migration flows have increased over the past decade and some progress has been made to improve the integration of immigrants in the host countries. But some of these gains may be erased by the COVID-19 pandemic ... More>>

Reporters Without Borders: Julian Assange’s Extradition Hearing Marred By Barriers To Open Justice

After monitoring four weeks of evidence in the US extradition proceedings against Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates concern regarding the targeting of Assange for his contributions to journalism, and calls ... More>>

OHCHR: Stranded Migrants Need Safe And Dignified Return – UN Migrant Workers Committee

The UN Committee on Migrant Workers has today called on governments to take immediate action to address the inhumane conditions of migrant workers who are stranded in detention camps and ensure they can have an orderly, safe and dignified return to ... More>>