UNHCR repatriates over 100 Rwandan refugees

BY STEVENSON

MUGISHA

WESTERN PROVINCE

RUSIZI — About 103 Rwandans who had fled the country in 1994 were last Thursday repatriated from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

The group mostly children entered Rwanda at about 10 am via Rusizi 1 border post in Kamembe sector, Rusizi district. They included seven men, 23 women and 73 children.

According to security officials at the border, the returnees were drawn from various places that included Nkubi, Cibanda and Karehe zones in north Kivu province.

The acting coordinator of Nyagatare Refugee Transit camp, Alfred Safi Uwitonze, told The New Times that the group was taken to their transit camp in Gihundwe sector, Rusizi district, but would be transported to their original home districts. They reportedly hail from Ruhengeri, Rutsiro, Musanze and former Kigalingari currently in Eastern Province.

"The group will be temporarily settled at Nyagatare Refugee camp in Kamembe sector as we organize transport to their former places of residences," Uwitonze said.

Talking to The New Times shortly on arrival at the border, Thereza Musabyimana, 34, one of the returnees could not hide her pleasure. She said, "I am very glad for the peace and security I have found in Rwanda and to have returned to my country. I thank God because there is a lot of insecurity in DRC which is particularly caused by FDLR militias."

Over 1,200 Rwandan refugees have been repatriated from DRC since January this year, according to security officials at Rusizi 1 and 11 border posts.

 

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