Rwanda’s refugees should not be forced to return

Published: 30/Juin/2013
Source: Al Jazeera

A « cessation clause » invoked by the UN could remove protections for many of the world’s 100,000 Rwandan refugees.

by Yoletta Nyange

Yoletta Nyange is a Rwandan-born journalist who has lived and worked across several countries including UK, Venezuela, Tunisia, Ethiopia and the Sudans, covering international affairs.

Story highlights:  The Rwandan government has come to realise that casting all exiles as ‘genocidaires’ was clumsy and deeply harmful to its attempt to brand itself as a business-friendly ‘Singapore of Africa’.

On June 30, roughly 100,000 Rwandan refugees around the world lost their refugee status and could become stateless if they do not return to Rwanda.

Arguing that Rwandan refugees no longer have a reasonable fear of persecution if they return, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has invoked a « cessation clause » applying to Rwandans who fled their country before December 31, 1998.

The clause essentially frees host countries from their economic, political and ethical duty to provide sanctuary and services to refugees. As a result, Rwandan refugees fear losing their food ration cards, having their children expelled from school, being fired from their jobs, and being pushed into the abyss of statelessness.

Read further at Al Jazeera.

Themes: Nationalité des réfugiés
Regions: Rwanda
Year: 2013