ARC expresses interest in refugee repatriation

The American Refugee Committee (ARC), an international organisation that deals in humanitarian activities, has expressed interest in participating in the repatriation of Rwandan refugees who are still in different countries.
Mukantabana (L) and Wordsworth after the meeting. The New Times/Timothy Kisambira.
Mukantabana (L) and Wordsworth after the meeting. The New Times/Timothy Kisambira.

The American Refugee Committee (ARC), an international organisation that deals in humanitarian activities, has expressed interest in participating in the repatriation of Rwandan refugees who are still in different countries.

ARC president Daniel Wordsworth said his organsation “would be pleased to partner with government and United Nations High Commission for Refugees to ensure voluntary repatriation of Rwandans”.

He made the remarks after meeting the Minister of Disaster Management and Refugees Affairs, Séraphine Mukantabana, yesterday, at the ministry’s premises in Kacyiru where they discussed various issues concerning refugees.

“We have done it for other countries like Pakistan, Liberia, Sudan and we want to see how we can provide more support to Rwanda, especially in participating in the repatriation of Rwandan refugees,” Wordsworth said.

He highlighted that though ARC is involved in different humanitarian activities in the country, it would be prudent to extend their assistance to repatriation process.

ARC manages all the three major refugee camps in Rwanda, providing health care, water, construction, and sanitation services as well as programmes combating gender-based violence and HIV/Aids.

Collective effort


The repatriation of refugees is done by the government in collaboration with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

Mukantabana noted that the number of refugees is still big, adding that it would need collective efforts to successfully return them home. There are about 70,000 Rwandan refugees.

“As the Cessation Clause draws nearer, it’s important that all refugees return. However, we shall need support from different parties in ensuring that the successful repatriation is achieved,”

 Next week, ministers in charge of refugees in the countries that host Rwandan refugees will convene in Pretoria, South Africa, to discuss the implementation of the Cessation Clause before it comes into effect on June 30.

The Cessation Clause stipulates that a person recognised as a refugee will either voluntarily return to the country of origin or apply for residence in the host country.

African countries that host the majority of Rwandan refugees include Congo Brazzaville, DRC, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, Kenya and South Africa.

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