The light Magazine

Close to 2,000 Burundian refugees leave Rwanda

Written by: George Kalisa
Monday, April 2nd, 2018, 19:45

The Spokesperson for ministry of disaster management and refugees (MIDIMAR), Jean Claude Tuyishime said that 1,604 Burundian refugees started leaving on Easter Sunday for their homeland through Nemba border post.


"Yesterday 1,604 went back passing by Nemba border post for today I will tell after," Tuyishime said.


According to Tuyishime, the refugees returned voluntarily after failing to meet the requirements stipulated by the refugee status grant. "They chose to go back home voluntarily after failing the mentioned requirements for Refugee status grant. They made a list of those who want to go back home."


An official at UNHCR in Rwanda who requested not to be named confirmed that 1,604 Burundian refugees left for Burundi on Easter Sunday and 390 would leave on Monday.


"Not deported, they have decided to voluntary return to Burundi. Today 390 hosted in Nyarushishi Refugee camp will also join their families in Burundi," said UNHCR official.


Last week, Rwandan police arrested 33 ringleaders in Burundian refugee camps for inciting others to boycott "the physical identification exercise which was done March 28.


On March30, MIDIMAR  released a statement.


"2,523 Burundian asylum seekers are currently hosted in Bugesera, Nyanza, and Nyarushishi Transit centers. They have refused to abide by laws and obligations regulating refugees, citing religious beliefs. Today they have been informed on basic conditions they have to fulfill if they want to be granted refugee status in Rwanda " a statement reads in part.


At the center of the conflict is vaccination of children under the age of five, which a religious cult in the Burundian refugee camps was opposed to.




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