At least 50,000 refugees are living on the shore of Lake Tangyanika in rough conditions after fleeing the political crisis in Burundi, the Tanzanian government has said.
Isaac Nantanga, spokesperson for the Ministry of Home Affairs, told Al Jazeera the Tanzanian government was doing its best to receive the asylum seekers from Burundi but said it was overwhelmed by the numbers, Aljazeera reports.
“There are too many people at this point, and when it comes to the threat of disease, it is difficult to avoid,” Nantanga said.
More than 105,000 Burundians have fled the country, with 70,000 crossing into Tanzania alone, since the political crisis began in neighbouring Burundi. Around 26,300 Burundians have entered Rwanda, most of whom are now living in the Mahama refugee camp.
Burundi’s capital Bujumbura has been hit by a wave of political dissent over the past three weeks, after President Pierre Nkurunziza said he would seek a third term in office.
According to activists, at least 20 people have been killed in clashes with police. The government has repeatedly disputed allegations of heavy-handed tactics. But the ongoing crisis has prompted an exodus across the border, Aljazeera reports.