The Minister for Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs, Seraphine Mukantabana, has stressed that Rwanda is still committed to working with all countries hosting its nationals with refugee status towards successful repatriation.
She made this call while addressing the 64th Assembly of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) executive committee in Geneva, Switzerland on October 3, 2013.
The Minister took the opportunity to call upon countries hosting Rwandan refugees to provide enough facilitation to those who want to voluntarily repatriate as a way of helping the enforcement of the Cessation Clause.
“To consolidate these efforts, it will be paramount for the international community to financially support the host countries in implementing the various solutions identified to ensure proper closure of the Rwandan refugees’’ Minister Mukantabana said.
She said Rwanda Government together with its partners, had done so much in ensuring that the refugees, most of whom have been in the country for nearly two decades, get basic requirements such as food and shelter, but they get stuck with children who complete primary education.
The minister commended some countries that have already declared intentions to invoke the clause, urging others to do the same.
On the agenda today, the Rwanda Delegation in Geneva headed by the Minister Mukantabana will meet with the High Commissioner, Mr Antonio Guterres and a delegation from Zambia and Mozambique so as to see how both parties can work together to invoke the secession clause.
The week-long annual conference attracted ministers in charge of refugees from UN member countries as well as diplomats.
The Cessation Clause, which was invoked by the UNHCR on June 30, calls upon Rwandan refugees to repatriate as the conditions in the country did not necessitate them to remain in refuge.
There are about 70,000 Rwandan refugees, mainly in countries within the Great Lakes Region, while more than 3.5 million repatriated voluntarily over the last 19 years.