Rwanda’s High Commissioner to Uganda, Frank Mugambage, has lashed out at some individuals and groups that masquerade as advocates for refugees’ rights, describing them as self appointed experts on refugee matters.
During an interview with the press at his office yesterday, Mugambage said the groups routinely spread misleading information among Rwandan refugees living in Uganda for selfish reasons.
“These are self-styled experts who only want to benefit from the misery of other people,” the High Commissioner said.
“They come up with shoddy researches with misinformed conclusions and they never bother to ask stakeholders”.
Thousands of Rwandan refugees formerly living in Uganda have returned home, and officials are optimistic that a remaining estimated 16,000 would voluntarily have returned by end of this year upon application of a United Nations cessation clause.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has announced that by the end of the year, Rwandans without viable reasons would lose their refugee status after the invocation of the cessation clause.
Mugambage added that there is no reason why the refugee status must be upheld because there are no conditions in Rwanda that necessitate them to remain refugees in other countries.
“It is absolutely unnecessary for it to persist because there is no justification for people to remain as refugees,” he said.
The refugees are spread in different refugee camps in Uganda which include; Nakivaale, Kyangwali and Kyaka.
He added that sensitisation efforts are underway to have the remaining refugees voluntarily return home.
However, the envoy pointed out that the repatriation process is still met by resistance from individuals in the refugee camps who have run way from accountability for various crimes.
“A few individuals in the camps find it hard to respond to this call because they committed Genocide and other crimes and are wanted to answer for their crimes back home,” he said.
By end of this month, a tripartite meeting of stakeholders involving the governments of Rwanda and Uganda and the UNHCR is scheduled to take place in Kigali to review progress made in the voluntary repatriation of refugees.