Rwanda, Uganda meet over refugees

The Joint Permanent Commission (JPC) framework between Rwanda and Uganda will review the progress made on repatriating Rwandan refugees living in Uganda, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said. The Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Eugene Munyakayanza, said in an interview yesterday that the meeting kicks off tomorrow in Kampala.
DISCUSSIONS UNDERWAY; Amb. Eugene Munyakayanza
DISCUSSIONS UNDERWAY; Amb. Eugene Munyakayanza

The Joint Permanent Commission (JPC) framework between Rwanda and Uganda will review the progress made on repatriating Rwandan refugees living in Uganda, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said.

The Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Eugene Munyakayanza, said in an interview yesterday that the meeting kicks off tomorrow in Kampala.

“The JPC will follow up on decisions taken during the Tripartite meeting between Rwanda, Uganda and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR),” Munyakayanza said.

Several of these refugees based in Uganda, whose total number is estimated at 20,000, have been slowly returning home over the last eight months.

Tarsis Kabwegyere, Uganda’s Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, said that there have been continued efforts by both governments to have the refugees return home.

“Our message has always been clear to them, and that has been that there is no reason as to why they shouldn’t go home,” Kabwegyere said in a separate interview.

The refugees are mainly concentrated in Nakivale refugee settlement in South Western Uganda and most of them fled the country after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Munyakayanza added that the JPC meeting will also examine all areas of cooperation, ranging from trade, security, agriculture, health and education.

Both countries have expressed commitment to addressing the issue of opening borders 24 hours a day, with hope that this will lead to creation of more border posts, easing the movement of people and goods.

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