Rwandans in Australia question resettlement of former FDLR rebels

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Rwandans living in Australia Diaspora have questioned the resettlement of two Rwandans, Leonidas Bimenyimana and Vincent Nyaminani, accused of killings of tourists in Udanda 20 years ago.

The duo was a part of Rwandan rebels based in Eastern DR Congo.

Celestin Ngoga represents the Rwandan Diaspora of Australia, told the Guardian that the resettlement of former rebels can cause trauma to genocide survivors.

He sees it as his duty to protect the many survivors living in Australia from further trauma

“From my experience, I have seen people in Europe just collapsing,” Ngoga said. “You ask ‘what happened?’. They say ‘that’s the person who killed my mum. That’s the person who cut me in my face with machete, sorry’.” Ngoga said

“We have a duty of actually just protecting these survivors of genocide, they are young,” he said. “The ones who can identify those who were trying to kill them, because most of them have got scars, physical scars, we don’t want them to experience an additional trauma.” He observed

At no point did the Australian government tell his group about resettlement of the two men, either before or after the story broke in US media outlet Politico.

Ngoga said he knows of many refugees who were denied entry into Australia following the 1994 genocide against Tutsi. He said he didn’t understand what process the government used to clear someone to come into the country.

“These are things we don’t really understand and we don’t control,” he said. “Nobody is asking us, until now. We ask ourselves why now they didn’t inform us?”

Meanwhile, Australian Government said two men are innocent and have passed through all security checks before being resettled in 2018.

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