The Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs (MIDIMAR), is setting plans to end the refugee status of Rwandans living outside the country by December 2011, a ministry official have revealed.
Capt. Jean Damasceine Kayitana, the acting Permanent Secretary of the MIDIMAR, said in an interview, that no Rwandan outside the country will be considered a refugee after December 2011.
He made the announcement at the end of a 3-day workshop, aimed at building the capacity of the ministry’s employees. The workshop was organized in partnership with UNFPA.
According to the ministry, there are over 50,000 Rwandan refugees living in different countries, mainly in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. On the other hand, more than 25,000 have returned to Rwanda since 2009.
“Our country is now safe, it is high time every refugee returned and settled. According to the UN, Rwanda has peace, and it is sees no reason why we should have refugees in foreign countries.” Kayitana said.
“We have already set up a sensitization roadmap, in this we have a programme called ‘come and see’ where by refugees will be coming to see for themselves how peaceful the country is and go back to pass on the information to the rest.”
He said that the programme will be implemented in collaboration with host countries of these refugees.
Kayitana added that the move is also aimed at fighting the security threat posed by some people who go around seeking refugee status in various countries claiming persecution.
He further said that after the cessation clause of refugees, the ministry will then embark on reintegration process.
“In addition to assistance for returnees, the government has adopted an integrated community-based approach to reintegration, broadening the capacity of those who can benefit from reintegration assistance to include other vulnerable groups.”