Members of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) have today started on a three-day country tour specifically aimed at taking in the status of Burundi refugees in Rwanda as the regional assembly moves to seek the appropriate intervention.
This comes as the Legislative arm of the Community initiated what it calls a goodwill mission by its standing Committee on Regional Affairs and Conflict Resolution to travel to Rwanda and Tanzania to visit the Burundian refugee camps in the two countries to assess the alarming situation.
“The goodwill visit aims at appraising the parliament with the humanitarian situation on the ground and the arrangements in place to deal with the crisis; re-affirming EALA’s commitment to Burundi in finding the lasting solution to the current political impasse; and visiting the refugee camps to bond with and console the victims of the crisis,” reads part of a statement from EALA.
Following the political and humanitarian crisis in the aftermath of the current Burundi political crisis and the attempted coup, more than 100,000 Burundian citizens have fled the country to seek refuge in Rwanda, Tanzania and DRC.
“The current situation in the refugee camps is reported to be appalling,” reads the statement.
In Rwanda, there are over 27,000 Burundian refugees, most of whom have been relocated to Mahama Refugee Camp in Kirehe District, Eastern Province.
Two eight-member teams, one led by MP Abdullah Mwinyi (Tanzania) and another by MP Abubakar Zein (Kenya) will simultaneously visit Tanzania and Rwanda, respectively.
According to a provisional programme, on Monday, the team in Rwanda is scheduled to start with its members meeting with government officials and agencies handling refugee issues for an initial briefing on the status of Burundian refugees in Rwanda, in the afternoon.