EDITORIAL: Refugees deserve dignified sanctuary

This is a time when the world is observing the International Holocaust Remembrance Day in honour of about 11 million people that included Jews, Romani, physically disabled people and homosexuals.

This is a time when the world is observing the International Holocaust Remembrance Day in honour of about 11 million people that included Jews, Romani, physically disabled people and homosexuals.

It is a day of solidarity, especially for Rwandans who also went through the same terror and suffering, and a time to dig in deep in defence of the “Never Again” doctrine.

It is not an empty rhetoric for this country has exhibited its commitment by sending thousands of peacekeeping troops and offering sanctuary to those fleeing persecution and restoring their dignity.

Rwandans know the true meaning of being a refugee in foreign lands and strive to treat those who flee towards them as humanely as possible.

Unfortunately, that is not the same today in many countries, sanctuary is being cordoned off, especially in the USA and many European countries.

Today, there is no room for refugees in Trump’s America, especially if one hails from a country with a large Muslim population.

European countries are ringing their borders with razor wires to keep refugees out, even those in transit. The Rohingyas in Myanmar have nowhere to turn.

That is gloomy news for those whose lives are in danger and need every ounce of solidarity and compassion from the world.

That is why Rwanda has not spared any means to make sure the over 100,000 Burundian and Congolese refugees share its meager resources.

Just this week, Burundian refugees in Mahama camp woke up to find a sparkling new hospital within their camp. Mothers will no longer give birth in unhygienic tents, their children will get needed healthcare and will have access to education.

The basic things that refugees demand, second only to security and a right to life, cost nothing. What makes it so difficult for other countries to understand?

 

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