The government is set to join the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to establish a roadmap that will see year 2010 end with the cessation clause in place.
The State Minister for Local government, Christine Nyatanyi, told a press conference yesterday, that the roadmap, which will include specific actions and benchmarks, is part of an initiative by UNHCR to push for the closure of the refugee chapter in Rwanda, Burundi, Angola, Sierra leone and Liberia.
The roadmap, according to Nyatanyi will also involve several meetings between the UNHCR, the government and refugee host countries, to discuss progress before the cessation is declared and to explore ways of encouraging refugees to repatriate within the next two years.
“Our main intention is to give all Rwandans a chance to enjoy previleges that their country is offering. Most people living as refugees do not enjoy even the basic amenities like education. The government wants them not to miss out on those basic rights,”she said
Asked by reporters why the cessation clause seems to be focused only on Rwandan refugees within Africa, Nyatanyi explained that those in Europe were not living in terrible conditions as compared to those in Africa.
“Rwandan refugees outside Africa are not our main concern because they manage to benefit from their host governments’ services and are living almost comfortable lives. What we are avoiding are circumstances that deny you the pride that your country can offer you freely,”she said
Nyatanyi reminded the reporters that the government had requested the UNHCR to put in place the Cessation Clause since 2002 during the meeting of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s Programme (ExCom) in Geneva.
UNHCR’s governing Executive Committee meets in Geneva annually to review and approve the agency’s programmes and budget, advise on international protection and discuss a wide range of other issues with UNHCR and its intergovernmental and non-governmental partners.
Conditions for a cessation clause to be signed include; the government’s proof of peace and security, good record of refugee reintergration, remarkable human rights record and proof of large returnees among others.