Friday, June 27, 2008

Tanzania celebrates World Refugee Day

ON Friday 20th, Tanzania joined other international communities in celebrating the annual World Refugee Day. The country has become the main centre of hosting refugees who flock from outside since way back in 1972. The first batch of refugees came from Burundi when the country struck into a hot political turmoil forcing more than 6,000 people to seek for refuge. Other nationals came from Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa during the struggle for their country’s liberation, they had to flee to seek for safety. All the refugees are now back to their respective countries.

A National Service brass band leading the procession from Mnazi Mmoja ground to Karimjee hall during the celebrations to mark the World Refugee Day in Dar es Salaam.
The purpose of World Refugee Day is to draw attention to the plight of refugees, celebrate their courage and resilience, and renew commitment to solving refugee problems. It is also an opportunity to recognize the contribution which refugees make to the countries which host them. On this sixth anniversary of the United Nations-designated World Refugee Day, thousands of organizations in hundreds of countries comes together to focus global attention not only on the plight of refugees and the causes of their exile, but also on their determination in order to survive and on the contributions they make to their host communities. This year, the events around the world focus on the need for protection. For some this means economic security for others protection’s freedom from violence and persecution.

A typical example of a refugee camp. This is Mudende refugee camp in Gisenyi-DRC
In eastern Tanzania, the government was scheduled to mark the day by giving naturalization certificates to 202 Somali Bantu refugees in Chogo settlement. The government had given these refugees land and welcomed them to apply for naturalization based on the historical links they have to Tanzania. Cultural and sports events were held in camps and settlements.

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