Press Communique on the statement of the President of Tanzania to expel refugees mainly those from DRCongo and Burundi
Press Communique: We strongly reject the intention of the President of Tanzania to expel refugees towards their countries of origin made in different media on Wednesday January 24th, 2024
In the evening of Wednesday January 24th, 2024 we were all shocked by the President of President Samia Suluhu of Tanzania indicating the intention to expel refugees generally those from Burundi, DRCongo and other countries which she did not mention but obviously these should be Rwandans. In her statement the President argued about the reduction of relief aid to Refugees from donors and some refugees who behave like citizens of Tanzania, she also argued the need to work with concerned countries and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for a smooth deportation.
We strongly object the current trend of using refugees as tools in order to bargain for the increase of humanitarian relief aid in various countries in the East African Community, this started in Uganda, it moved to Kenya and now it has extended to Tanzania, we also object the use of refugees as tools for diplomatic negotiations among countries and lastly we object the trend to politicize refugees in order to gain cheap popularity.
We highly regret the lack of the concentration on the key real causes which mainly are connected to mismanagement of the available funds and other relief aid in many countries in Africa, the relief aid which is supposed to alleviate the plight of refugees is often eaten by state actors who at the same time impose oppression against vocal refugees, Tanzania is among the countries where refugees claim they do not receive the aid which is donated to them. We also condemn the move put in place by countries including Tanzania to devalue the refugee status and make it difficult for someone with a refugee status to access services and opportunities without discrimination, this is why some refugees have moved around to acquire national documents in order to access services and opportunities. These inequalities are the real problems which the President of Tanzania should focus on but not to attack refugees who are trying to survive in harsh and oppressive systems.
We therefore call upon the mobilization of all those concerned, refugee human rights activists, refugee leaders, refugees in all countries in the world to wake up and unite together in order to resist against such war towards refugees by the very leaders who are supposed to protect them,
We also call upon the people of Tanzania and people around the world to reject this new trend from poor leaders incapable to solve the social problems of their people and then export these problems to weak and vulnerable people in their communities mainly refugees,
We also call upon the donor communities to support efforts and empower more refugees in order to ensure that the available relief aid is managed in total transparency and in inclusion in decision-making, and this goes with the shift from the traditional channels of driving the aid to direct support to refugee initiatives in their communities,
Done in Goma, North Kivu/ The Democratic Republic of Congo
January 25th, 2024
Kulihoshi Musikami Pecos
Executive Director / Global Refugee Leaders Forum