Friday, March 14, 2003

UNHCR Begins Integration of Somali Bantus
NAIROBI, 14 MARCH 2003--The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) began on Thursday the integration of more than 3,300 Somali Bantu refugees into the local community in Tanzania, the UN agency reported.

UNHCR reported that the Somali Bantus fled to Tanzania in 1991 and 1992 following civil war and the collapse of the Siyad Barre government in Somalia. This group was among "tens of thousands" of Somalis who "travelled on overcrowded and rickety dhows to Kenya's coastal town of Mombasa", it said.

"They made their way farther south to Tanzania's Tanga region, following a reverse path that their ancestors had taken more than three centuries ago when they were transported as slaves," it added.

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