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DRC refugees stream into Tanzania

Thousands of DRC refugees are streaming back into Tanzania barely one year after their repatriation, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said in Nairobi today (Wednesday). About 800 refugees have been arriving at the Lake Tanganyika port of Kigoma daily, according to UNHCR. At this rate, the Federation estimates that one of their camps run specifically for Congolese refugees could be filled to its 40,000 capacity within a month. The Federation says that more refugees were waiting to cross into Tanzania and that thousands who could not afford the crossing price of US $10 a head charged by private boats were said to be stranded in the Congolese bush. A threat of a possible cholera outbreak in the Lugufu camp, 90 km east of Kigoma, had prompted the Federation to screen refugees coming through Kigoma before transporting them to the camp. The disease is endemic on both sides of the lake and a few cases have been detected among refugees arriving in Kigoma. Some 26,000 DRC refugees have crossed into Tanzania since August last year. Many of these were repatriated from Tanzania less than a year ago but are now returning since renewed hostilities broke out in eastern DRC.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information:

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