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Rwanda hailed for ‘special’ refugees’ violence protection

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While The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in collaboration with the Ministry of Disasters Management and Refugees (MIDMAR) were presenting 2016 report on different activities done at refugee camps, the government of Rwanda has been hailed for the way it treats refugees by also fighting the violence against them.

The presentation ceremony of the 106-book report was held on Tuesday March 07th, 2017.Governance, protecting refugees especially children and women, education, health, refugees’ grants, water and energy as well as Hygiene in general, were all included in this report.

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Saber Azam, the UNHCR country representative, has drawn attention on the rights that refugees in Rwanda access where he thanks Rwanda for its uniqueness in fighting violence against refugees.

He said that the country’s  will to care for refugees is based on mainly its culture of hospitality and respected shown to foreign people as the refugees camp holds a variety of many cultures.

During a press conference, Seraphine Mukantabana, MIDMAR Minister, told journalists that the report will help a lot in addressing different challenges facing the camps, especially the case of violence against women and Children.

She says it will solve a lot on infrastructure shortage, the lack of infrastructures needed to improve social and economic welfare as well as hygiene issues, namely water, electricity and washrooms.

The conference also made an emphasis on girls and women who seem to be likely to face violence due to their physical weaknesses and their status of refuge.

Minister Mukantabana added that there is a possibility that some can commit violence against girls and women using their financial capacity as a trick that they could live well with the support they give them. She reminded the public that the Republic of Rwanda plans heavy charges to those who commit any form of violence.

She also explained that a variety of small businesses are being done in the camps where different investors are urged to take the refugees’ products (Made in Rwanda) to the international market, while there is a number of refugees who hold competitive skills in technical, handcraft and other profitable activities.

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This will help refugees to build self dignity and confidence in them and stop looking forward to international grants and start to promote ‘Made in Rwanda’ policy.

The refugees well studied profit-oriented projects will be supported by UNHCR and more sponsors will be encouraged to be involved in funding the successful projects.

In order to build confidence in female refugees, the National policy dubbed ‘Umugoroba w’Ababyeyi’ is being implemented where they sit together and hold discussions on the development of their families.

There are 6 refugee camps in Rwanda, namely Gihembe, Kiziba, Mahama, Mugombwa and Nyabiheke, which all host a staggering 160, mostly Burundian and Congolese. Many of them spent 20 years in refuge.

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@Fred Irakoze

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