Rwanda's Minister of Local Government (MINALOC), Minister of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs (MIDIMAR) and Mayors for Rwanda's 30 districts met on Saturday in Kiyanzi refugee camp in Eastern Rwanda's Kirehe district to look into ways of relocating Rwandans evicted from Tanzania.
In the one-day visit, the MINILOC Minister James Musoni, told the Tanzania-expelled Rwandan refugees that the aim of the visit was to end their current refugee status because no Rwandan should be a refugee in their home country.
Saturday's visit, Minister Musoni added, was also in line with sending best wishes to these Rwandan refugees for the upcoming year of 2014, just as Rwanda's President Paul Kagame did for fellow Rwandans in his recent 2013 state of the nation address.
Minister Musoni further promised these Rwandan refugees that, by January 2014, their refugee status will be no more. They will have settled along with fellow Rwandans.
Minister Mukantabana explained that the government wants Tanzania-expelled Rwandan refugees to integrate in the Rwandan society by 2014 and live as their fellow Rwandans.
This, she said, will also allow their children to be able to go to school with the new school year that will start in January 2014.
Minister Mukantabana added that all the refugee camps hosting Tanzania-evicted Rwandan refugees will close down starting with January 2014 and their occupants will be relocated to different districts of Rwanda.
Joel Mugaragu, one of the refugees in Kiyanzi camp, said he is appreciative of the way he and fellow refugees were welcomed back home. And with the continued support from the government, he said, it shows that Rwanda has a clear, well-defined roadmap.
The latest figures from MIDIMAR suggest that up to 14,253 Rwandans were expelled from Tanzania this year - some 5,827 of whom now live in Kiyanzi and Rukara refugee camps while others have already joined their families in different districts.