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From 25th- 29th September, 2017, 15 Rwandan refugees exiled in different countries since 1994 participated in the “Come and See, Go and Tell” programme organized by the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugees in partnership with UNHCR.
The Government of Rwanda, The Republic of Zambia and UNHCR have vowed to engage coordinated efforts in order to find durable solutions for about 4,000 of Rwandans in Zambia who lost refugees status following the invocation of the Cessation Clause in June 2013.
The three parties reiterated their commitment as they winded up a two-day tripartite meeting held in Kigali on 24-25 March 2015.
Minister Seraphine Mukantabana has called UNHCR to revitalize efforts for the implementation of Cessation Clause for Rwandan refugees. She made the appeal, on the behalf of the Rwandan delegation, at the occasion of the 65th Executive Committee Meeting of the UNHCR (EXCOM) being held in Geneva Since Monday September 29, 2014.
The Cessation Clause for Rwandan refugees was declared on June 30, 2013. That clause applies to those who fled between 1959 and December 1998.
The Government of Rwanda and the Government of Zambia has signed bilateral agreements to facilitate Rwandan refugees who lost their refugee’status to have other alternative legal status.
The Cessation Clause for Rwandan refugees which took effect on June 30, 2013 affected more than 4000 Rwandan refugees living in Zambia.
- GENERAL INTRODUCTION
Rwanda started experiencing ethnic-based hostility from 1959. The hostilities forced thousands of its population to seek safe havens in different countries across the region. The 1994 Genocide against Tutsis that cast a dark shadow over the country saw millions of Rwandans scattered across the world, especially in Africa. Many lost hope for the country, fearing for the worst.
On Sunday, June 30, the cessation clause concerning Rwandan refugees came into effect. This means that Rwandans who fled the country between 1959 and 1998 have lost their refugee status across the world.
This follows a process that began in 2002 where the Rwandan government approached the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) saying that the reasons that caused Rwandans to flee were no longer applied and that Rwanda was ready to receive all refugees.