Saturday, May 23, 2015

Joyful Burundi Refugees Leave Disease-Stricken Camp

Refugees who fled Burundi's violence and political tension board a speedboat to reach a ship freighted by the UN, at Kagunga on Lake Tanganyika, Tanzania, Saturday, May 23, 2015 to be taken to the port city of Kigoma. An outbreak of cholera has infected 3,000 people in a Tanzanian border region where refugees fleeing political unrest in Burundi have massed, the U.N. Refugee Agency said Friday, May 22, 2015. Some 300 to 400 new cases of cholera are being reported daily. At least 31 people — 29 refugees and two Tanzanians — already have died of the disease, according to UNHCR. More than 64,000 Burundians have fled to Tanzania in recent weeks, UNHCR said, escaping the unrest sparked by their president's bid for a third term that many say is unconstitutional.

LAKE TANGANYIKA, TANZANIA (AP) — Hundreds of women, many with children strapped on their backs alongside their few belongings, sing melodious tunes expressing their joy as the small boats approach the ferry M.V. Liemba.
They are among a group of about 600 Burundi refugees evacuated by the U.N. refugee agency Saturday from a makeshift refugee camp at the fishing village of Kagunga, Tanzania. The small town has hosted thousands of refugees and has now been hit by a cholera outbreak. The refugees are being taken to another spot on the lake to a camp with better facilities, said Celine Schmitt, a spokeswoman for the U.N refugee agency.
Tens of thousands of Burundians are escaping political turmoil at home triggered President Pierre Nkurinziza's bid for a third term in office in the June 26 election.
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