GICUMBI - The Minister of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs, Gen. Marcel Gatsinzi, has disclosed that his ministry is in discussions with officials from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to repatriate Congolese refugees in the country.
The Minister was speaking in Gicumbi District, Thursday, where he visited Gihembe refugee camp in Gicumbi District to establish challenges facing refugees. During the tour, the minister was accompanied by the new country representative of United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), Neimah Warsame.
The visit comes after several cases of protests against poor conditions were reported in the camp last year.
The refugees cited problems of poor accommodation, poor feeding, and education among their main challenges. The camp accommodates over 19,000 Congolese refugees.
Gen. Gatsinzi, said the problems refugees face were concerns to both the Rwandan government and the United Nations.
“We request you to cooperate with us so that the problems you face here are resolved amicably,” Gatsinzi told the refugees.
On her part, Warsame commended the government for the hospitality accorded to refugees.
“The government is very much concerned about the refugee affairs, and without the current political space in this country, UNHCR would not meet its goals,” said Warsame.
She promised that UNHCR would disburse examination fees to enable refugee pupils to sit for national examinations, adding that refugee schools that were closed down would reopen soon.
Warsame further undertook to provide crutches for the disabled and improve on refugees’ accommodation.
She, however, called on the refugees to abide by the country’s laws. “No one here is above the law; you should cooperate with the local authorities,” she stressed.
Speaking at the event, Gicumbi Mayor, Bonane Nyangezi, urged the refugees to ensure better sanitation at the camp.