12 February 2016

East Africa: Burundian Refugees to Be Relocated

The government of Rwanda has announced that it will immediately begin working with partners in the international community to plan the orderly and safe relocation of Burundian refugees to third countries.

In a communique released by the minister of Foreign affairs Louise Mushikiwabo and government spokesperson states that Rwanda readily shoulders its obligations to protect and care for refugees. However, experience in the Great Lakes is that the long-term presence of refugees so close to their country of origin carries considerable risks for all involved.

"The callous indifference to the well-known root causes of instability in Burundi, and the refugee exodus‎ is troubling. It also exposes refugees to increased threats from forces at home and compromises lasting political solutions. For Rwanda, the growing risks to our national security from the Burundian impasse and misunderstandings in our foreign relations are unacceptable," the statement reads in part.

In recent months, Rwanda has made requests to international partners and organisations to host Burundians living in camps and in towns in Rwanda. No party has come forward yet, even as the political situation in the refugees' country of origin shows no improvement.

Minister Mushikiwabo said that for Rwanda and the region, the costs of repeating past mistakes of political mismanagement and international politicking, at Rwanda's expense, are too high.

According to the statement no party has come forward yet, even as the political situation in the refugees' country of origin shows no improvement.

The relocation of refugees comes at a time after a leaked UN report that alleged that Rwanda was training Burundian rebels.

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