Over 2,000 Congolese refugees return illegally acquired IDs

In the ongoing refugee verification exercise at Gihembe Camp in Gicumbi District, 2,050 Congolese refugees have turn over illegally acquired national identity cards, The New Times has learnt. Some refugees who were interviewed allege they procured Rwandan IDs to facilitate them get jobs.
 Congolese women celebrate after recieving  refugee identity cards in May last year. The New Times /File phot
Congolese women celebrate after recieving refugee identity cards in May last year. The New Times /File phot

In the ongoing refugee verification exercise at Gihembe Camp in Gicumbi District, 2,050 Congolese refugees have turn over illegally acquired national identity cards, The New Times has learnt.

Some refugees who were interviewed allege they procured Rwandan IDs to facilitate them get jobs.

“We didn’t have refugee identity cards, so, some of us thought it wise to get Rwandan national IDs as we look for jobs because there is no way one can give you a job without any identification,” one of the refugees disclosed.

“We had to disguise ourselves as Rwandans since we all speak Kinyarwanda”.

Jean Claude Rwahama, the Director General in charge of Refugee Affairs in the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs, said the ministry will soon issue refugee identity cards.

“We are currently urging whoever possesses national ID cards to return them so that they get their refugee cards and this is one of the reasons for this census,” Rwahama said, adding that initially, the ministry had stopped processing refugee IDs due to financial constraints.

He added that once they get their identities, they would be free to look for jobs anywhere in the country.

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