Some Burundian refugees who early this month entered Rwanda from DR Congo are being transferred from Nyarushishi transit centre in Rusizi District to Bugesera transit centre to reduce congestion, officials said.
According to Aristarque Ngoga, the refugee technical adviser at the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugees (MIDMAR), 854 Burundian refugees were on Monday moved to Bugesera in Eastern Province with more expected to be moved.
“Nyarushishi is not big enough to accommodate all the 2554 refugees. That is why we are reducing them by transferring some to Bugesera,” he said.
Ngoga, explained that Nyarushishi centre was designed to host Rwandan returnees before being resettled.
“The transit centre was designed to accommodate 600 people. It’s where we used to host Rwandans returning from refuge before they were transferred to their families,” he said.
Ngoga said they had to erect more temporary shelters at Nyarushishi to accommodate the Burundian refugees.
He said they are in the process of registering them, adding that eventually, they will be relocated to a permanent facility.
He added that currently the registration is still going on.
Up to 2,554 Burundian refugees, most of them women and children, crossed to Rwanda early this month from Kamanyola refugee camp in DR Congo where they had lived since 2015.
They claimed a conspiracy was going on to forcefully repatriate them to Burundi.
Last year, about 40 Burundian refugees including a 10 year old girl from Kamanyola camp were reportedly shot dead and about 100 injured in clashes with Congolese security forces allegedly over planned forced repatriation.