Amidst news that the previously estimated death toll of 50,000 during the massacres in the troubled central African state of Burundi could now have risen to 100,000 refugees by the thousands are pouring into camps and hospitals in Western Tanzania.
CU ZOOM OUT children sitting in refuges encampment PAN ALONG belongings to other groups seated
CU Refugees registering with official seated
SV PAN INTERIOR hospital ward
CU Injured refugees in bed (5 shots)
SV PAN FROM nurse with injured PAN OVER children on beds
Initials OS/1718 OS/1748
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Background: Amidst news that the previously estimated death toll of 50,000 during the massacres in the troubled central African state of Burundi could now have risen to 100,000 refugees by the thousands are pouring into camps and hospitals in Western Tanzania.
This film shows refugees being cared for at the Kigoma Transit Camp on the shores of Lake Tanganyika only thirty miles (50 km.) from the Burundi border. Many of the survivors are severely mutilated and have lost hands and legs.
News of the situation is confused owing to the strict clampdown on press and diplomatic facilities. Some missionaries claim they have been told during the past four years to write only 'good' news in their letters home.
Missionaries and others have been able to get out of Burundi however, and say that the intensive fighting started when the majority (3-million) Hutu population attempted a coup against the ruling Tutsi tribe (600,000) six weeks ago.
It is still uncertain whether or not the reprisal now being carried out against the Hutu has the official sanction of President Michael Micombero's Tutsi-supported government.
At the time of filming the Kigoma Camp was filled with 7,000 refugees. Most of these have since been moved to more permanent camps away from the border, such as Tabora which now holds over 4000 refugees. A further 8000 Burundians are reported to be staying with friends and relatives close to the border.
SYNOPSIS: As the death-toll in the troubled central African state of Burundi is reported to have reached the hundred thousand mark, refugees from the alleged massacres are pouring into neighbouring Tanzania in their thousands. Tanzania has reacted to the situation by setting up camps throughout the western part of the country. This one is at Kigema situated on the shores of Laks Tanganyika.
In Burundi itself news of the current situation is uncertain but it has been learnt from missionaries, who were able to get out of the country, that the fighting started four weeks ago when the majority Hutu tribe attacked members of the ruling Tutsi people. Most of these refugees at the Kigoma hospital received their injuries, and many more of their fellow Hutu were reported killed, in the massive tutsi reprisals said to have followed the failure of the attempted Hutu takeover. Unconfirmed reports from nearby Rwanda allege that twelve and thirteen-year-old Hutu schoolchildren are being slaughtered by their Tutsi school-fellows.
Kigoma Camp is only a temporary staging post for the refugees, many of whom came here by beat along the shores of Lake Tanganyika. They will eventually be sent to larger camps further inland.