From OMEGA SSUUNA in Bujumbura, Burundi
BUJUMBURA, (CAJ News) – THE instability of the situation in Burundi is increasingly pushing civilians to flee to neighboring countries in search of security.
Since April 2015, some 410 000 refugees and asylum-seekers have been forced to flee their homes.
As the political situation shows no sign of improvement, the total refugee population could reach more than 500 000 by the end of 2017, making the refugee crisis the third largest in Africa important.
At present, Tanzania is home to the majority of Burundian refugees, of whom about 249 000 are housed in some overcrowded camps.
Rwanda hosts about 84 000 Burundians, while there are still 45 000 in Uganda and about 41 000 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has updated its financing requirements for the situation in Burundi to $250 million (R3,2 billion) from $214 million previously.
Babar Baloch, UNHCR spokesperson, said it became essential to secure resources to provide emergency assistance to newcomers and appropriate support to host countries.
“UNHCR has so far received only two percent of the required funds,” he lamented.
New arrivals report human rights violations, fear of persecution and sexual and gender-based violence.
The East African country of 12 million people is in turmoil after President Pierre Nkurunziza controversially retained power in 2015 at the lapse of his constitutional mandate.