GOVERNMENT has refuted reports that it has denied entry to Mozambican refugees.
Home Affairs Minister George Simbachawene told the BBC Thursday that “there is no reality” on the recently released report by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which accused Tanzania of refusing entry to at least 600 refugees from neighbouring Mozambique.
He said that when it comes to protecting its borders Tanzania should not be mistakenly viewed as it denies entry to refugees.
Despite the recent report which the minister termed as untrue, the UNHCR has been citing Tanzania as one of the most important refugee asylum countries in Africa, expressing its satisfaction with government assurances that the country would continue to be hospitable to refugees.
Globally, Tanzania is commended for its long tradition of welcoming refugees fleeing conflict and persecution in neighbouring countries, including the naturalisation of 162,000 Burundian refugees from 1972.
Historically, this great and peaceful East African nation has been credited as a good home to refugees from its neighbours of Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and southern African countries, particularly during the freedom struggle against colonial rule.
The country also has been participating in various missions to restore peace in war-torn countries in the Great Lakes Region, Africa and the world at large.
Tanzania is a longtime supporter of the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR), an approach which calls for greater international support to host countries.
Last week, heads of state and government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) condemned terrorism acts in Cabo Delgado Province in Mozambique and vowed to fight the problem in the region.
Being a member of SADC, Tanzania was among countries that showed concern in resolving the problem.
In the meeting, Tanzania was represented by Zanzibar President Dr Hussein Mwinyi on behalf of President Samia Suluhu Hassan.
Other presidents who attended the summit were Emmerson Mnangagwa (Zimbabwe), Dr Lazarus Chakwera (Malawi), Cyril Ramaphosa (South Africa) as well as the SADC Executive Secretary Dr Stergomena Tax.
The heads of state and governments noted that heinous attacks in Mozambique cannot be allowed to continue without a proportionate regional response.
The sentiments were expressed in a communiqué of the SADC’s Extraordinary Double Troika Summit (DTS) held on April 8 in the Mozambican capital Maputo.
“The summit received a report from the Organ Troika on the security situation in Mozambique, and noted with concern the acts of terrorism perpetrated against innocent civilians, women and children in some of the districts of Cabo Delgado province of the Republic of Mozambique,” part of the joint communiqué noted.
Moreover, SADC expressed full solidarity with the government and people of Mozambique and reaffirmed the bloc’s continued commitment to contribute towards the efforts to bring about lasting peace and security, as well as reconciliation and development in the country.
The communiqué states further that the summit has directed immediate technical deployment to Mozambique, and the convening of an extraordinary meeting of the ministerial committee of the Organ by 28 April 2021 that will report to the extraordinary Organ Troika Summit the following day.