UN refugee chief worried about Burundi

2015-05-06 20:57
UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres. (Bebeto Matthews, AP)

UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres. (Bebeto Matthews, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Nairobi - The United Nations refugee chief said Wednesday he was "extremely worried" at the political crisis in Burundi, where at over 35 000 refugees have fled ahead of elections.

"We thought Burundian refugees were something we would never have to discuss again, unfortunately we are back to having a significant outflow of Burundians," UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) chief Antonio Guterres told reporters.

"It must stop - we have enough crises in the world."

President Pierre Nkurunziza, a former rebel leader from the Hutu majority who has been in power since 2005, has come under intense international pressure to withdraw his bid for a third term in power, which has sparked days of deadly protests.

Refugees have fled into Rwanda, Tanzania and Democratic Republic of Congo.

The United Nations last week warned that up to 400 000 people could be affected in a worse case scenario should upcoming elections in Burundi turn violent, calling for extra cash to prepare.

Burundi, where a 13-year civil war between Tutsis and Hutus ended only in 2006, has been rocked by violent protests since the CNDD-FDD designated Nkurunziza to stand in what critics say is in defiance of the constitution and the Arusha accords which ended the war.

The UN has spent millions of dollars and years of work helping Burundi refugees who fled ethnic violence and civil war to return home, but now political unrest has put the country into crisis again, he warned.

"We helped 500 000 Burundian refugees to go home in safety and dignity and we resettled 200 000 more," Guterres said in the Kenyan capital.

"We thought that was a problem that was over."

Read more on:    unhcr  |  antonio guterres  |  burundi  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.