Information on the treatment of Tanzanians who were denied refugee status abroad and who have since returned to Tanzania (Update to TZA6124 of 27 June 1990) [TZA18483.E]

According to an official at the High Commission for Tanzania in Ottawa, Tanzanians who are denied refugee status abroad and then return to Tanzania will be prosecuted for leaving Tanzania without authorization and travelling illegally abroad (21 Sept. 1994). However, the official indicated that sentences are lenient and consist of small fines or prison terms of no longer than three months (ibid.). Furthermore, if the Tanzanian goverment paid for the return of an individual returnee, the returnee or his/her family, would have to reimburse the travel expenses (ibid.).

A Carleton University professor well versed in East-African issues indicated that Tanzanian authorities are lenient towards Tanzanians who return to Tanzania after being denied refugee status abroad (20 Sept. 1994). However, Tanzanian authorities could deny entry to Tanzanians of Arab and Asian origin who could not establish their Tanzanian citizenship at the point of entry (ibid.).

A representative of the UNHCR Regional Bureau for Africa in Geneva stated that Tanzanian refugees returning to Tanzania would be prosecuted for leaving the country illegally but were not likely to be harrassed or ill-treated by the Tanzanian authorities (21 Sept. 1994). He also stated that the Tanzanian authorities would be more suspicious of Tanzanians of Arab and Asian origin.

This response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


High Commission for the United Republic of Tanzania, Ottawa. 21 September 1994. Telephone interview with official.

Professor of political sciences, Carleton University. 20 September 1994. Telephone interview.

United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), Geneva. 21 September 1994. Telephone interview with representative of the UNHCR Regional Bureau for Africa.