What do you do with 480,000 refugees?

If you’re Tanzania, you send them home. The government of Tanzania announced recently that it would repatriate its 484,642 refugees—a staggering number. Most of the refugees currently live in the northwestern part of the country in camps that have become an integral part of the local economy since they were first set up in 1993. ...

600731_0700706_tanzania_05.jpg
600731_0700706_tanzania_05.jpg

If you're Tanzania, you send them home. The government of Tanzania announced recently that it would repatriate its 484,642 refugees—a staggering number. Most of the refugees currently live in the northwestern part of the country in camps that have become an integral part of the local economy since they were first set up in 1993.

If you’re Tanzania, you send them home. The government of Tanzania announced recently that it would repatriate its 484,642 refugees—a staggering number. Most of the refugees currently live in the northwestern part of the country in camps that have become an integral part of the local economy since they were first set up in 1993.

In Africa, Tanzania is second only to Chad in the number of refugees it hosts. About 150,000 of those in Tanzania’s refugee camps are from Burundi, with another 200,000 from the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Tanzanian government’s rationale for kicking them out appears to be that the conflicts from which they fled are largely settled, and they are consuming too many environmental resources. But as Jonathan Edelstein, a lawyer in New York who follows African politics closely, notes, repatriating these refugees could get messy. Watch this space.

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