Rwanda + 2 more

East Africa: UNHCR's position on Rwandan "refugees"

News and Press Release
Originally published
NAIROBI, 3 February (IRIN) - The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR) will not provide assistance or international protection to Rwandans allegedly expelled from Tanzania and were moving into Uganda, an official of the agency told IRIN on Monday.
News organisations reported last week that the influx into Uganda of Rwandan refugees from Tanzania had overwhelmed screening capacity at Uganda's border posts. But the UNHCR public information officer in Uganda, Bushra Malik, told IRIN that the agency considered these Rwandans entering Uganda from Tanzania differently.

"UNHCR's position remains that irregular movers who have previously found protection in Tanzania will not be provided with assistance nor international protection by the Office of the UNHCR in Uganda," she said.

News organisations reported that Tanzania expelled Rwandan refugees who had been living in the country since the 1994 genocide, saying that their status had expired. Tanzania expelled Ugandan refugees two years ago, despite the fact that they had been in the country for three decades. Some of the Rwandan refugees are suspected to have participated in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

News agencies reported last week that refugee camps in western Uganda were overwhelmed, and that Uganda had closed the status-determination post at Bugango in Mbarara District, forcing the refugees to use the Mutukula post.


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