National Police say 23 Congolese refugees from Kiziba refugee camp in the Western Province, were arrested on Tuesday for throwing stones and attacking police officers with sharp objects.
Through their twitter handle, Rwanda National Police indicated that they are working with different stakeholders to restore calm and order to Kiziba Refugee Camp.
“Routine patrols continue in and around the camp to ensure safety for all refugees and other residents of the area,” reads part of the tweet.
“Several refugees resorted to violence, throwing stones and attacking police officers with sharp objects, leading to the arrest of 23 individuals who were handed over to relevant authorities for investigations. Refugees, like all residents of Rwanda, must abide by Rwandan laws,” it continues.
The Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugees had earlier on April 30th issued a statement on its decision to dissolve the refugees’ executive committee as one of the measures to restore law and order in the camp and its surroundings.
The decision was taken after findings by the ministry have established that a core issue causing unrest in the Kiziba Camp was the refugees’ executive committee, which was established to help in the management of the camp, but has instead been mobilising refugees to revolt against government officials and partner institutions, denying them access to the camp, and causing disorder among the refugees, thereby rendering the camp and its surroundings unsafe.
“The Ministry has also directed that violent, unruly and provocative conduct in the camp is unlawful and must stop immediately to restore peace, law and order, as well as allow for dialogue to resolve any existing or emerging challenges,” reads parts of the ministry statement.
The Government of Rwanda says that it is duty bound to provide safety to all Rwandans and refugees hosted in Rwanda. The Ministry therefore calls on all refugees to cooperate in restoring normalcy in the camp, and gives notice that any person attempting to interfere with this process will be in violation of the law and will be held to account.
Meanwhile, on Monday 21 Congolese refugees appeared before the Muhanga Intermediate Court and were remanded for 30 days for their role in February’s riots in Kiziba camp, as court said that investigations are still going on.