Rwanda: Rwanda plans relocation of Burundian refugees to third countries

Kigali, Rwanda (PANA) - Amid rising risks related to the presence of refugees so close to their country of origin, the Government of Rwanda has started working with partners in the international community for the orderly and safe relocation of Burundian refugees to third countries, according to an official statement issued Friday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in Kigali.

In the statement, Rwandan Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Louise Mushikiwabo, acknowledged that the well-known root causes of instability in Burundi, and the refugee exodus posed a threat.

In recent months, Rwanda requested international partners and organisations to host Burundians living in camps and in towns in Rwanda, but no party has come forward yet even as the political situation in the refugees' country of origin shows no improvement.

"For Rwanda, the growing risks to our national security from the Burundian impasse and misunderstandings in our foreign relations are unacceptable,” Ms. Mushikiwabo was quoted as saying.

In addition, the statement noted that  the experience in the Great Lakes (of Africa) is that the long-term presence of refugees so close to their country of origin carries considerable risks for all involved.

There are currently some 74,000 Burundian refugees in Rwanda, according to government figures.

These refugees arrived in Rwanda since protests against Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza's third presidential term started in April 2015.

But, the current situation on the ground in Burundi definitely does not allow for a mass repatriation of refugees.
-0- PANA TWA/VAO 12Feb2016

12 february 2016 15:43:54

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