Burundi refugees facing starvation
Despite a truce between political parties that could bring peace to Burundi, they may not be able to return to their homes because of the rains. If they cannot get back to their villages now there will be no harvest in six months' time and there will be famine. Bad roads and inaccessible camps in Tanzania and Zaire mean many are dying now from cholera and starvation.
Of those who ran from their homes in Burundi to escape the tribally motivated massacres last October, an estimated 250,000 are displaced in Burundi, while according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees some 245,000 are in Tanzania, 275,000 in Rwanda and an estimated 60,000 in Zaire. They fled after the killing of some 100,000 people that followed the murder of Melchior Ndadaye, the newly-elected President - the first ever from the Hutu people.
Last week political parties in Burundi called for an end to the killing and destruction and announced a truce after a meeting between the Prime Minister, Sylvie Kinigi, and the leaders of the country's main political parties. The parties called on their militants to act responsibly and urged all Burundians 'to stop all demonstrations, destruction, harassment and intimidation'.
In Tanzania the government is expected to ban exports of food and has warned of 'looming disaster'. According to Medecins sans Frontieres: 'Food shortages are compunded by drastic transport problems. Trucks cannot get to many of the villages.'
Attempts by the Tanzanian government to resettle the refugees have resulted in confusion and panic, according to an MSF worker, who said that people were scattering into the bush.
According to Tom Walker, an MSF aid worker based in Kigoma, the refugees arrived in Kigoma a month ago healthy and resilient, but squeezed into the local football stadium their condition has deteriorated rapidly because of food and water shortages. But at least the town is accessible. 'The rainy season has made roads to (some) villages virtually impassable . . . conditions on the border are worsening.'
The World Food Programme has said it will extend its feeding programme for a further six months, but the UNHCR has exhausted the dollars 17m ( pounds 11.5m) for the Burundi crisis and needs new funding.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 2 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 War is war: Why I stand with Israel
- 5 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber reach almost £154,000 on eBay
Supermoon 2014: When and why will the moon look bigger and brighter this summer?
Gaza-Israel conflict: The terrible price children are paying for Israel’s war with Hamas
Online trolls target alleged rape victim Jada, by copying how she appeared in video of attack
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
£50000 - £70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...
competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client, a FTSE 100 organisation are u...
£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...