Over 500,000 Rwandan refugees are currently in Tanzania, most of whom arrived in 1994. Current policy is that they are in Tanzania temporarily awaiting improvement of conditions in Rwanda so that they are able to voluntarily repatriate. This has been the explicit policy of international UN organizations, regional governments, and donor governments. As a result, other solutions to the refugee crisis, especially regional resettlement, are not being explored.
Unfortunately, voluntary repatriation is unlikely to provide a solution for the millions of refugees living in Tanzania, or for that matter, Zaire. In part, this is because the Rwandan government cannot jeopardize its own political legitimacy by re-admitting opponents of the current RPF regime. More important, though, the post-war Rwandan populations are again growing due to natural increase. This will result in the doubling of the 1993 pre-genocide population as early as 2013. As in the past, this population, should it be in Rwanda, will likely be dependent on agricultural land for subsistence, leading to a resumption of the tensions. As a consequence, it is argued that broader regional solutions involving repatriation and resettlement may be a more appropriate response to the Rwandan refugee crisis.
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