EDITORIAL: Implementing Cessation Clause is an obligation

Speaking at the 65th executive committee meeting of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees in Geneva, Switzerland, the Minister for Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs, Seraphine Munkatabana, revealed that some states hosting Rwandan refugees have not showed commitment to implement the Cessation Clause.

Speaking at the 65th executive committee meeting of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees in Geneva, Switzerland, the Minister for Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs, Seraphine Munkatabana, revealed that some states hosting Rwandan refugees have not showed commitment to implement the Cessation Clause.

This is after more than a year since the Clause was invoked on June 30, 2013, following a conclusion that there is no more reason for Rwandans to remain in refuge.

For a country that is setting the pace in socio-economic and political transformation not only in the region but in the continent as a whole, it beats the mind why any Rwandan should continue living in foreign land as a refugee. It does not matter how hospitable the host nation might be; being a refugee will always remain just that: a refugee.

Moreover, the Cessation Clause, which applies to people who fled the Motherland between 1959 and 1998, provides for a choice where one can choose to remain in host country but as a Rwandan national. The government ensures that those who wish to stay wherever they are being hosted acquire national passports.

Humanity prides in having a place they can call motherland. But for Rwandans, it goes beyond this: the pride of the Rwandan people that has been restored and promoted in the last 20 years is one that can pierce the skies. Rwanda is one of the few countries where identifying one by their tribe can amount to a felon. There is no tribe in Rwanda today, but united Rwandans.

Detractors of the people of Rwanda will always have their false stories, but returnees have had the last laugh whenever they do.

Besides ushering in an era of peace and tranquility that is the envy of the continent, the government ensures that every returning former refugee is reintegrated into the community.

However, that only seven countries have implemented the Cessation Clause since its invocation is sad reminder that no one will care about you more than your own people. As Rwandans, we can only tell nations that are yet to implement this Clause that they do not need reminders to carry out their responsibilities.

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