Burundian children born in Tanzania face challenges back home

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Burundian refugees return convoy-UNHCR

Reintegrating thousands of Burundian children born in Tanzania is a big challenge, according to the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR).

The Tanzanian government set 31 December as the deadline for Burundian refugees who have been in the country for 20 years to lose their refugee status.

The agency says in less than six weeks, between the end of October and 11 December, more than 34,000 Burundian former refugees returned to their country.

According to UNHCR, 60 per cent of them are children under the age of 18, most born in exile to parents who fled civil strife in Burundi in the 1990s.

The agency says the children never heard anything good about their country from their parents who always spoke about killings.

At the same time, many of the refugee children lost out on years of schooling because their parents stayed outside Burundi.

UNHCR, which is helping the children to adjust to their new lives in Burundi, says psychological healing for them may take longer.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

Duration: 1'15"

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