Rwandan refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) who are currently on a tour of the country are amazed by the stability as well as efforts to improve the welfare of the Rwandan people.
The refugees, accompanied by UNHCR officials from the DRC will spend the week moving across the country and visiting their relatives as part of the campaign dubbed “come and see”.
Recently, the government initiated the campaign, where Rwandan refugees are invited to witness the current situation at home and go back to sensitise their colleagues to repatriate.
“We are surprised by programs like Mutuelle de Santé, education for all and the eradication of Nyakatsi in the country. Since I came I have been moving around Kigali at night without anybody asking me for identification,” said Innocent Hategekimana, one of the refugees.
The program was mainly launched to help dispel fears among the refugees, mainly spread by Genocide fugitives, that the country was not peaceful and that refugees are arrested upon repatriation.
“What I have witnessed is a country developing at a very fast rate,” said the 48-year old refugee.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Disaster Preparedness and Refugee Affairs, Antoine Ruvebana, welcomed the nationals telling them that the country needs all Rwandans to contribute towards its development.
“All that you have seen was not in place just a few years ago and was achieved by none other than Rwandans, we, therefore, need to work together with you to take our country to another level,” he said.
Ruvebana urged the refugees to transmit the message to their colleagues in DRC about the situation in Rwanda, offering government assistance to those who will decided to voluntarily repatriate.
“Go back and tell your colleagues what you have witnessed here and we are ready to support and reintegrate everyone who returns,” he noted.
Gaitrie Ammersing, the protection officer at the UNHCR headquarters in Kigali assured the refugees that through collaboration with the government, the organization would continue providing financial assistance to the returnees to enable them reintegrate effectively.
“We support them, transporting them to Rwanda either by Air or road and we shall continue assisting them to repatriate,” she said.