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Burundi leader urges nearly 250,000 refugees to return home

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DODOMA, Tanzania (AP) — Burundi's president is urging the nearly quarter-million Burundians sheltering in Tanzania to return home, saying the country is now peaceful.

President Pierre Nkurunziza is visiting neighboring Tanzania on his first visit outside Burundi since a failed coup attempt in 2015.

The United Nations says more than 500 people have been killed in violence around Nkurunziza's ultimately successful decision in 2015 to seek a disputed third term. Rights groups and the U.N. say the violence continues.

Nkurunziza made the remarks in a meeting Thursday with Tanzanian President John Magufuli. A statement from Tanzania's presidency says Magufuli wants Burundian refugees "to voluntarily return home."

Tanzania's interior ministry says about 247,000 Burundians are in refugee camps in the Kigoma region.

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