Par Aloys Mundere
« J’aimerais tant qu’il y ait la paix, pour qu’on puisse rentrer chez nous », dit un réfugié burundais, un homme octogénaire. « J’espère qu’on va continuer à recevoir de l’aide. Je suis handicapé. Je suis seul. Personne d’autre ne va m’aider. »
Environ 30 000 personnes ont fui le Burundi pour le Rwanda ces dernières semaines, suite à la plus forte flambée de violences depuis la fin de la guerre civile en 2005.
As of mid-June, more than 30,000 refugees, 77 per cent of whom were children and women, had crossed into Rwanda fearing violence due to political instability in Burundi. With the continued volatility related to forthcoming elections in Burundi, it is estimated that 100,000 refugees may enter the country by September 2015. Refugee children are arriving in poor health, some severely malnourished and highly vulnerable to disease.
WFP has scaled up its intervention to tackle malnutrition among children in Mahama camp, in Eastern Rwanda and home to over 23,000 Burundian refugees. The intervention has contributed to lowered child malnutrition rates to 9 percent.
“I wish there was peace so that we can return home,” said one Burundian refugee, an old man in his 80’s. “I hope that we continue to receive help. I’m disabled. I’m alone. Nobody else is going to help me.”
Around 30,000 people have fled Burundi for Rwanda in recent weeks following the worst outbreak of violence since the end of the civil war in 2005.
“Any help would be welcome, because we need it,” said Jean Damascène Musoni, a community leader of the 27,000 Burundian refugees sheltering in Mahama camp in Rwanda.
Highlights (4- 16 June)
**The total number of Burundian refugees has now reached 33,871*
Health-related activities are expanding including UNICEF supported vaccination drives against measles and polio at reception centres where there are in excess of 5,000 people, more than half of them children
Provision of water supply in the Mahama refugee camp still remains a challenge due to limited capacity of the existing community water supply system
In a joint effort by MIDIMAR, UNHCR and Plan International, birth registration has started for Burundian refugee babies born since the start of the influx on 31 March. To date, 87 infants have been born since the opening of Mahama camp
Aid agencies say the number of unaccompanied minors among refugees arriving in Rwanda is uncharacteristically high.
Jean-Pierre (not his real name), whose feet swing above the ground as he sits on a plastic chair, looks more like a child in his Lego T-shirt than a teenager. Two months ago, the 15-year-old left his parents and four siblings in the province of Muyinga, in northern Burundi, and walked alone to neighbouring Rwanda.
MAHAMA CAMP, Rwanda – After violence broke out near her home in Burundi, Chantal Uwamahoro walked for days to reach safety at a Rwandan refugee camp. “I walked with difficulty because I was heavily pregnant, with my first born son on my back,” she said. “It took our group four days to reach the Gashora Reception Centre.”
The prospect of delivering her baby in unknown conditions, under desperate circumstances, terrified her. “I had expected the worst to happen,” said Ms. Uwamahoro, 25.
Although the daily trend of new arrivals rose to 250 per day last week, UNHCR and partners recorded 495 Burundian refugees on 8 June. UNHCR will monitor the situation to see if this is the beginning of a new trend.
As of 02th May 2015, the number of Burundian refugees had reached 29,117 in Rwanda. Those refugees were hosted in reception centres and camps as follow:
· Gashora Reception Centre , in Bugesera District in Eastern Province: 4450
· Nyamiyaga a reception Centre, in Nyanza in the Southern Province : 622
· Nyagatare Transit Centre: Rusizi District in the Western Province : 254
· Mahama refugee camp: Kirehe District in the Eastern Province : 23,791
Kigali, Rwanda 27 May 2015
Kigali, 23 May 2015 – More than 10,000 children who fled their homes in Burundi to find safety in neighbouring Rwanda are to be immunised against polio and measles to prevent outbreaks of the deadly diseases among both refugee populations and the communities hosting them.
· Refugees fleeing tensions in Burundi continue to arrive in Rwanda at a rate of more than 100 a day, with ongoing uncertainty at home carrying the risk of a return to peak rates of more than 1,000 arrivals a day seen at the start of the situation.
· Facilities at the main refugee camp for Burundians in Rwanda at Mahama are further expanding, with UNICEF part-funding new boreholes to tackle potential water shortages.
The rate of new arrivals from Burundi has stabilized since early May, to on average 200 refugees per day.
UNHCR and partners have relocated 422 refugees from Nyagatare Transit Center to Mahama Camp in the last week, and will continue to eventually relocate all refugees remaining in the transit and reception centers in order to ensure preparedness in case of another wave of refugee arrivals.
• Fear of continued violence ahead of Burundi’s elections due in late June has prompted 8,000 more Burundian refugees to arrive in Rwanda since the last UNICEF SitRep of 26 April, taking the total number of newly arrived refugees to 25,214, of whom 82% are women and children
• Two-thirds of the refugees, or close to 17,500 people, have been moved to the new Mahama Refugee Camp in eastern Rwanda from the two initial Reception Centres that were established at the outset of the crisis
H.E. President Paul Kagame has spoken out on the Burundi political crises, claiming that the country's leaders must do more to stop the root causes of refugee movements: "We will welcome the refugees, we will do the best we can, working with the UNHCR, with other countries and the region. The issue is not how well you take care of refugees. The issue is how we stop producing refugees."