7 November 2017

Rwanda: Refugees Return to Rwanda After Refugee Cessation

Kigali — THOUSANDS of refugees have returned to Rwanda from the Democratic Republic of Congo as the deadline for the cessation of refugee status in neighbouring countries looms. This has seen the East African country receive more than 11 000 returnees this year, almost double the number received last year. The returns follow the invocation of the cessation clause by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), meaning the refugee agency will no longer be responsible for supporting Rwandan refugees. The refugees have up to December 31 to either secure legal residency in host countries, return home or risk losing protection after the cessation date. "We are ensuring that we are prepared to receive all those who will have registered to return by the set deadline," Antoine Ruvebana, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugees, said. Nonetheless, there have been low returns of Rwandan refugees from other countries as Congo Brazzaville, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia. Despite some instability, especially during the recent elections that retained Paul Kagame in power, Rwanda is no longer viewed a volatile country compared to the 1990s when a genocide led to the killing of 1 million minority Tutsis.


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