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Friday, 23 February, 2001, 15:18 GMT
Zanzibaris still fleeing harassment
Policeman attacking a man in a doorway
Zanzibar has seen violence since last October's elections.
By Cathy Jenkins in Nairobi

The number of people who have fled the Zanzibari island of Pemba since clashes last month has now reached 2,000.

Those fleeing say they have come because of continued harassment, detention and torture by the authorities on Pemba.

Violence broke out on 27 January after the authorities banned a protest by the opposition Civic United Front (CUF).

Political grafitti on wall in Zanzibar
The oppositon have not ended calls for an election re-run
The CUF want a re-run of last October's elections which international observers said were not free and fair.

The government has so far said that new elections will not take place, but this has not stopped the CUF's campaign.

Co-ordinated

The refugees say that there have been systematic break-ins at the homes of opposition supporters.

The authorities on Zanzibar, and on mainland Tanzania, have called on the people to return home saying that the situation is calm.

But those still arriving in Kenya have told United Nations officials that they believe more people will follow them.

Basic facilities

With an average of a 100 people arriving daily, conditions at a makeshift camp set up in a fishery compound are extremely basic.

Officials from the UN's refugee agency (UNHCR) say that sanitary facilities are non existent and some people have been sleeping in the open.

The local authorities have identified a five acre site where the people could be given proper shelter.

The problem is that the Kenyan government has yet to decide on whether to give them refugee status and until that decision is made, no long term action can be taken.

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See also:

14 Feb 01 | Africa
Zanzibar refugees reject amnesty
27 Jan 01 | Africa
Bloodshed on Tanzanian islands
02 Feb 01 | Africa
Zanzibar's shattered peace
30 Oct 00 | Africa
Violence after Zanzibar vote row
31 Oct 00 | Africa
Zanzibar: Braced for trouble
27 Oct 00 | Africa
Tanzania: Political who's who
10 Jan 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Tanzania
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