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By Godfrey Olukya   12-10-2012

Tanzania’s minister for East African Cooperation, Samuel Sitta, has said that his country is against offering passage for illegal immigrants.

This follows foreigners mostly from horn of Africa’s Ethiopia and Somalia illegally passing through Tanzania to South Africa and other south African countries in search of greener pastures.

The illegal immigrants are transported in sealed trucks which at times lead to some of them dying due to suffocation. A few months ago over 50 Ethiopians died in a truck in Tanzania while being stealthily transported through to South Africa in a sealed truck.

Sitta said that Tanzania is bound by international obligations not to offer passage for illegal aliens. He added that there is a danger of the country being caught up in conflicts  with other states if it allowed illegal immigrants to pass through it’s territory.

 He said,’ We can not allow that to happen. We will have no sympathy for illegal immigrants from the Horn of Africa even if the latter will be caught using the country only as a transit route to other states in southern Africa.’

A  senior immigration officer Frederick Kiondo said that  Tanzania’s image had been tarnished by the deaths of illegal immigrants while in the country. The deaths occurred through suffocation while the aliens were being transported in air tight lorries.

‘There are also illegal immigrants who died when boats ferrying them capsized while others simply died of hunger and thirst in various hideouts.’ Kiondo said.

According to Tanzania’ security organizations, most of the illegal immigrants originate from Ethiopia and Somalia although recently there have been reports of others coming from Sudan and middle Eastern countries.

Since this year started hundreds of illegal immigrants are reported to have passed through Tanzania.

There are reports that the illegal immigrants pay as much as 300 US dollars each to be transported from their home countries to South Africa.

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