Ministry optimistic on refugee secession clause
KIGALI - The Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs believes that by the end of this year, no Rwandan national will be referred to as a refugee.
This follows an agreement on a secession clause between the government and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) that ensures that no Rwandan will be accorded refugee status by December 2011.
Jean Damascene Kayitana, the acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness and Refugee Affairs says that the ministry has put in a lot of efforts to ensure it achieves its target.
“We are working hard to sensitize all refugees wherever they are residing in the world and I am sure that by the end of this year nobody will be called a Rwandan refugee any longer,” he said.
The government adopted a “come and see” mechanism where refugees are allowed to visit the country and assess the situation. Kayitana revealed that it has produced positive results.
Recently, the Minister of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs, Marcel Gatsinzi, visited Malawi where he met over 2,000 refugees from Dzaleka camp of Dowa District in central Malawi and urged them not to fear.
Jean Claude Rwahama, the Director General in charge of refugee affairs in the Ministry, Wednesday, said that this week 12 refugees returned from Congo Brazzaville following the sensitization campaign that the ministry recently had in Congo.
UNHCR estimates that there are 73,000 refugees in different parts of world and 3.5 million repatriated since 1994.
Next month, the Minister and his team will visit Zambia on the same mission. Similar visits are planned for South Africa, Cameroon, Mozambique and Uganda.