Zimbabwe to repatriate Rwandan Refugees

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Zimbabwe will return hundreds of Rwandan nations home after certifying Rwanda safe to return under a cessation Clause, reports New Times.

“It’s not the government of Zimbabwe coming with a position that Rwandan refugees must go back come December 31. It’s a position taken last year in October in Geneva affecting Rwandans where ever they may be,” said Zimbabwe’s Minister for Public Service, Labour and Social Services, Prisca Mupfmira during her tour of the Tongogara Refugee Camp, home to refugees from Rwanda, Burundi, DR Congo, Mozambique, Somalia and Ethiopia.

The Minister further added that Rwandans living in the country as refugees should return home to participate in the rebuilding of their home; Adding that a refugee status should not be a permanent situation.

The Rwandans will be repatriated by 31st December of this year.

“Come December 31 the Cessation Clause will come into effect. Our hands are tied because we have to comply with the UN,” Mupfumira said.

Many of the Rwandan refugees staying in Zimbabwe are reluctant to return saying that they have already established their lives in Zimbabwe and can no longer leave the country.

Statistics have cited at least 400 Rwandan refugees fled to Zimbabwe in the aftermath of the Genocide against the Tutsi in 1994.

UNHCR announced that voluntary returnees will get $250 per adult & children will get $150 upon arrival in Rwanda to support their resettlement.

The government of Rwandan has already prepared Nyarushishi camp in Rusizi District in Western Province, Rwanda to receive & accommodate the returnees, according to Seraphine Mukantabana, Rwandan’s Minister for Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs.

Rwanda has said that it will not consider any Rwandan arriving back home after December 31, 2017, as a refugee.

Rwandan’s Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs estimates that about 280,000 Rwandans could be still living as refugees across 20 countries in the world. Majority of them, close to 245,000 are believed to be in the DR Congo, says the New Times.

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