RRF 11/2023 – Tanzania: Emergency Response to Congolese Refugee Influx

Over the past three and a half months there has been a sudden surge in Tanzania of asylum seekers from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from Masisi and Rutshuru territories in North Kivu. These locations are currently occupied by Congolese Revolution Army (M23), Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC), as well as Mai Mai and other non-state armed groups who control towns in the same area. Civilians are now caught between groups of combatants. According to some recent peace agreements, it is expected that M23 have agreed to move away from these areas, but this is not the first time M23 promise to relocate but do not. Currently these agreements are yet to materialize.

In November / December 2022, asylum seekers arrived into Tanzania at the average rate of 150 person per day. This year (March 2023) saw the highest number of asylum seekers from the DRC entering Tanzania in groups of 300–600 (highest peak recorded). This number then reduced to 20-30 asylum seekers arriving in Tanzania in May and June 2023.

Majority of the asylum seekers are women, children and the elderly. The asylum seekers enter Tanzania through Lake Tanganyika using boat canoes from DRC. More asylum seekers are projected to cross from the DRC to Tanzania because of the expected continuation of clashes in eastern DRC (UNHCR 29/06/2023; Daily News 19/03/2023).  The number of refugees registered by UNHCR are 11,964 as of 14th July 2023 and they are now settled at Nyarugusu refugee camp.

RRF 11 2023 Tanzania DRC Refugees