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UNHCR Rwanda hopes more voluntary repatriation ahead of cessation clause

The United Nations refugees agency for Rwanda, UNHCR Rwanda hopes more Rwandan refugees will have returned to the native country before cessation clause of Rwandan refugees’ status by the end of 2017.

Since Rwanda announced this cessation before 1st January 2018, some Rwandans have been repatriating from neighbouring countries, others remained stubborn on the situation but Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs (MIDIMAR) said no individual will be facilitated to return after cessation clause.

UNHCR representative in Rwanda, Saber Azam assumed next year around 30,000 Rwandan refugees will return to Rwanda and UNHCR; is ready to facilitate anyone interested in voluntary repatriation.

The government had already scheduled 30 June 2013 to implement refugees’ cessation clause for Rwandans exiled since 1959 up to 1998 which later on moved to the end of 2017.

Since the coming into effect of the Cessation Clause, seven countries have made official declaration. They are Burkina Faso, Burundi, Republic of Congo, Niger, Senegal, Togo and Zambia.

Rwanda has invested enough efforts to promote voluntary repatriation. Between July 2013 and June 2014, over 24,000 Rwandan refugees have returned including those expelled from Tanzania.

As part of the implementation of the Cessation Clause, Rwanda also support local integration by facilitating former refugees to acquire national passports to enable them to legally stay in their host countries due to socio-economic ties.

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