Time to close Rwandese Refugees chapter

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, is on an important and timely visit to Rwanda. His mission is to discuss with relevant government officials here, a roadmap that will see the gradual phasing out of the Rwandese refugee phenomena. With regard to security and personal safety, Rwanda is undoubtedly one of the most stable and peaceful countries, not just in the region but the continent as well.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, is on an important and timely visit to Rwanda.

His mission is to discuss with relevant government officials here, a roadmap that will see the gradual phasing out of the Rwandese refugee phenomena.

With regard to security and personal safety, Rwanda is undoubtedly one of the most stable and peaceful countries, not just in the region but the continent as well.

If there are problems related to human security, these are mostly to do with alcohol abuse, leading mostly to domestic violence, which the authorities are fighting to curb on a daily basis.

Otherwise, the streets of Kigali can easily be rated the safest in the world, free of any forms of violence.

The reason for the Rwandese refugees scattered in the region, continent and worldwide to start coming back home.

However, the UNHCR itself must show sincerity in this regard by lifting the statutory instrument that allows the existence of Rwandan refugees in the various countries.

Given the security offered to citizens and foreigners alike here, the term ‘Rwandan refugee’ is a misnomer.

Indeed, Rwanda is ironically, home to many asylum seekers and refugees from the continent. According to the UNHCR itself, statistics of refugees in Rwanda are at 55 000, with 352 asylum seekers.

The roadmap that Guterres speaks of should be based on a realistic, timely and well resourced repatriation plan. This is in view of the fact that the UN often comes up with ambitious programmes, that end up failing.

The UNHCR should work closely with the government of Rwanda and other stakeholders to ensure successful repatriation.

Ends

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