Tanzania's government is urging the United Nations refugee agency to quickly repatriate thousands of Burundian refugees who it says want to return home.

Home Affairs Minister Mwigulu Nchemba said Friday that over 8,000 refugees are "pushing to be returned" after they registered for voluntary repatriation.

UNHCR in Tanzania did not respond to a request for comment.

In July, Tanzanian President John Magufuli suspended the registration and naturalization of thousands of Burundian refugees.

Over 240,000 Burundians are sheltering in Tanzania after fleeing deadly political violence.

Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza recently urged the refugees to return, saying the country is now peaceful.

Burundi has faced sporadic violence since April 2015, when Nkurunziza announced his ultimately successful bid for a third term. Protests that the move was unconstitutional turned violent.