Rwanda issues bio-metric travel documents to refugees
Written by: Administrator
Thursday, October 11th, 2018, 3:52
Rwanda’s Minister of Disaster Management and Refugees (MIDIMAR), De Bonheur Jeanne d’Arc, Octoer10 said while presiding over the issuing of bio-metric travel documents to refugees that free movement is one of the fundamental rights of refugees which when observed can also help them access services.
The issuing of the machine-readable Convention Travel Documents (MRCTDs) is jointly managed by the Rwandan government and UNHCR in Rwanda
“One of the fundamental rights of refugees is the right to free movement in different countries except their country of origin. The GoR committed ensure that hosted refugees get access to legal documents to facilitate them to have access to different services,” said the Minister
“(…) the issuance of refugee travel documents will positively impact refugees’ daily life and legal cross-border movements,” added MIDIMAR minister.
On his part Mr. Baba Fall, the UNHCR representative in Rwanda said that “issuance of MRCTDs will help in efforts to implement the comprehensive refugee response framework (CRRF) as it enhances refugees’ resilience and self-reliance"
"I would like to thank the government of Rwanda and other stakeholders like migration office for making this happen! MRCTDs will boost refugees’ livelihoods and education opportunities and will allow them to become positive contributors in Rwanda,” added Fall.
Issuance of MRCTDs is in line with the 1951 Geneva Convention on refugees ratified by the GoR in 1979.
The launch started with issuing bio-metric travel documents to refugees who were verified in the ongoing verification exercise, and who have recently requested the respective documents to facilitate their travel abroad.
Early this year a handful of Congolese refugees were shot dead by the Rwandan police during violent riots allegedly sparked off by an international reduction in food quota to refugees.
The current refugee fact sheet shows that Burundian refugees constitute 47% of the total refugee population while Congolese refugees, the largest group are 52%.
At least 144,429 refugees registered individually while 280 registered at household level.
Rwanda recorded 7,719 asylum seekers.
Rwanda has six refugee camps five of them shelter Congolese refuges while Mahama refugee camp in Rwanda’s Eastern district of Kirehe is home to 57,627 Burundian refugees who have been fleeing from violence since April 2015 when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced his decision to run for a disputed third term.
Kigeme refugee camp established in 2012 hosts 20,000 Congolese refugees who fled conflict in mostly the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).