Rwanda National Police has told Congolese refugees to adhere to the country’s laws on Gender Based Violence (GBV).
The call was made yesterday by Assistant Commissioner of Police, Vianney Nshimiyimana, during the closure of the GBV week at , Gihembe Refugee Camp in Gicumbi District.
The camp that is home to about 20,000 refugees, has, together with other camps hosting Congolese refugees, been cited as having escalating cases of GBV.
Nshimiyimana told the refugees to respect one another within their families.
“Being a refugee doesn’t give you powers to cause violence in your homes. You have to know that you are bound by this country’s laws, including those on GBV,” he said, adding that violence in homes lead to poverty.
The refugees pledged full cooperation with the National Police in uprooting the vice within the camp.
“We really appreciate what the police have done because women here don’t have a say in the family, and we can’t claim our rights because in our culture, we have to be submissive to our husbands,” said Jeannette Uwimbabazi, a mother of three.
The Director General in charge of refugee affairs in the Ministry, Jean Claude Rwahama, stressed that refugees are not above the country’s laws asking them to abide by them even within their families.
“No one determines one’s gender. It’s only God who does that. So, one should not be subject to rights abuse,” Rwahama said.
The refugees were called on to always report cases of gender based violence to concerned authorities.
They were also warned against smuggling illicit brew commonly known as Kanyanga. Gicumbi District officials believe consumption of the liquor is the root cause of GBV in the camps.