Source: Pambazuka News
It is rare for host countries to offer refugees citizenship, especially in a context such as the Great Lakes region where millions have been displaced. Instead, most governments wait for circumstances to change so that refugees can go back to their home country. Tanzania, however, has taken the bold and commendable decision to offer citizenship to 162,000 Burundian refugees who fled their country in 1972 and who have since been living as refugees in Tanzania. While it is important not to detract from the level of generosity that this demonstrates, the process itself has revealed a fundamental disjuncture between rhetoric and reality. Only when the gap between the two has substantially reduced, it is argued, can it be judged a success.