The Minister of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs, Gen Marcel Gatsinzi, has said that every Rwandan refugees living abroad, will have rights to own their property when they return.
Gatsinzi made the remarks, yesterday, while opening a 3-day workshop that is aimed at strengthening the capacity of central government staff and local officials in charge of social affairs on sustainable reintegration of returning Rwandan refugees.
Gatsinzi made it clear that every returnee will have the right to claim property he or she left behind, as a way of facilitating the full integration of returning refugees into their respective communities.
“Every returnee will have rights to their property because we want them to live in harmony with the rest of the community,” Gatsinzi said.
The move follows plans to end accordance of refugee status to Rwandans, after it was established that with Rwanda’s socio-economic transformation, there was no need for citizens to remain refugees.
The cessation clause will go into effect in December next year.
According to the Minister, over 50,000 Rwandan refugees living in different countries are expected to return before the end of December next year.
Gastinzi called on local authorities to prepare for the reintegration process.
“Reintegration requires the preparation of appropriate reception facilities and reintegration opportunities, as well as addressing the concerns that have been expressed by Rwandans who are still living in exile.” he said.
“As local authorities, you are to be engaged in sensitization and integration of the returnees into national programmes such as construction of shelter for the vulnerable, free 9-year-basic education and integrated development programmes,” he said.
The workshop, that was organized by the ministry in partnership with International Organisation for Migration (IOM) is facilitated by experts from Geneva.