A two-day tripartite meeting between Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the UN refugee agency – UNHCR, scheduled to start today in Kigali will focus on the homecoming of refugees living in both countries, The New Times has learnt.
Officials in the Ministry of Local Government (MINALOC) were making arrangements yesterday for the meeting and, Eugène Barikana the Permanent Secretary in the ministry said that the meeting will discuss and validate a memorandum of understanding (MoU).
“The tripartite meeting will be discussing issues about refugees in Rwanda and the DRC and our ministers will validate the existing MoU on cooperation between the two countries,” Barikana said.
After the meeting of technical teams from both countries and the UNHCR, a ministerial meeting will be held at the Mille Collines hotel.
“The meeting is expected to culminate into two tripartite arrangements - one on the return of Rwandan refugees living in the DRC and another on the return of the Congolese refugees living in Rwanda,” David Nthengwe, the UNHCR’s External Relations Officer in Eastern DRC.
Thousands of Congolese refugees have been living in Rwanda for the past one decade most of whom fled the insurgences spearheaded by the FDLR and other Congolese rebel factions.
On the other hand, scores of Rwandan refugees have been staying in the DRC since the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, some of them being held hostage by the FDLR rebels.