1. The Government of the Republic of Burundi, from official sources of the Tanzanian authorities, has learned with consternation that military outfits ordered in Japan by an organization called the Danish Refugee Council for Burundian refugees in Tanzania have been discovered by the Tanzanian authorities during their distribution by the UNHCR in the refugee camps of Nduta (622) and Mtenderi (1,325), rounding a total of 1,947 outfits.
2. At a time when many Burundian refugees are returning voluntarily and massively to their country and other Burundians are preparing to return, this incident may constitute an obstacle for the good return of Burundian refugees in Tanzania to their country while influencing negatively refugees in other countries.
3. The Government of the Republic of Burundi commends and congratulates the Tanzanian Government for the emergency measures taken, including :
• The seizure and destruction of these outfits ;
• The administrative measures taken against all persons involved in this illegal act
These measures are likely to strengthen peace in the Region in general and in Burundi in particular. They encourage the voluntary return of refugees and counteract any act likely to call into question the process of voluntary repatriation of refugees.
4. The Government of the Republic of Burundi deplores the inadvertent recidivism that is increasingly characteristic of the UNHCR in the subregion in general and in the case of Burundi in particular. As a reminder, we will remember the weapons found at Saga Plage in 2015 and whose subsequent investigations revealed that they were shipped from Rwanda to Burundi in the UNHCR vehicles. These weapons transported to Burundi during a period of insurgency in Bujumbura were intended to destabilize Burundi.
Burundi and the World will sadly bear in memory, the deafening silence of the UNHCR in front of the recruitments, paramilitary trainings and armaments of the Burundians including children, in refugee camps in Rwanda by the Rwandan authorities with a view to destabilizing the Burundi. This kind of attitude and other similar cases are not worthy of agents and representatives of a UN agency who, in essence, should spare no effort to preserve peace and security in their areas of intervention and therefore preserve their credibility.
5. The Government of the Republic of Burundi takes this opportunity to urge the UNHCR to be more vigilant in order to avoid sowing doubt and discredit as Burundi is welcoming its repatriated daughters and sons and preparing for big electoral rendezvous of 2020.
The Government of the Republic of Burundi asks the people of Burundi to keep calm and serenity, not to be distracted by these incidents and to keep going about their daily development activities.
6. The Government of the Republic of Burundi takes the International Community for witness and asks it to take action over these acts of the UNHCR against Burundi. The Government of Burundi also takes this opportunity to urge the United Nations to closely monitor the work of the United Nations Agencies, in general, and the UNHCR in particular, with the aim of maintaining the credibility of the activities of these agencies in accordance with their mandate. Otherwise, it could be considered or interpreted rightly or wrongly as a complicit and / or guilty silence.
Done at Bujumbura, January 25, 2019
Secretary-General and Spokesman
of the Government.-