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Rwanda Emergency Update on Burundian Influx 8 – 15 April 2015

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KEY FIGURES

5,817 (as of 14 April) Burundian Asylum Seekers have crossed into Rwanda.
Further breakdown of the above figure:
4,341 Asylum seekers in Bugesera Reception Center.
1,476 Asylum seekers in Nyanza Reception Center.
61% Of the new arrivals are children.

PRIORITIES

 Identification of appropriate sites for reception and/or transit, as well as possible new camp
 Biometric registration to be expanded to Nyanza next week
 Urgent need for additional hand-washing facilities, toilets and showers
 Distribution of condoms, sanitary pads, clean clothes and mosquito nets

HIGHLIGHTS

  • A delegation of Burundian authorities scheduled to arrive in Rwanda on 15th April has been postponed. The Governor of Kirundo Province and civil servants from different ministries were expected to visit Bugesera reception center. UNHCR has been assured by its counterpart, the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs (MIDIMAR) that such visits will not lead to refoulement of refugees and that Rwanda will assume its obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law, in particular the 1951 Convention. More detail will be provided in the next weekly bulletin.

  • On 14 April, representatives of the U.S. Embassy, DFID, the British High Commission and Consul, and the Embassy of Belgium (pictured leftright) visited Bugesera reception center where 4,341 refugees from Burundi are currently accommodated. During the mission, led by UNHCR, the delegation visited ongoing construction of hangars and shelters, communal cooking stations, WASH facilities and the distribution center, being conducted by UNHCR and MIDIMAR, with partners. In addition, the group traveled to Kamabuye sector, where asylum seekers crossing into Rwanda are initially received before being relocated to the reception center. There, new arrivals gave their testimonies of escaping violence and intimidation from the “Imbonerakure” in Burundi which led them to flee to Rwanda. At the end of the visit, the UK representative presented a donation of clothing for the asylum seekers in Bugesera reception center.

  • On 13 April, “President Paul Kagame received the Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza in Huye Town in the Southern Province of Rwanda. The two presidents discussed Burundi’s political turmoil and insecurity concerns that has [sic] caused an influx of Burundian refugees to Rwanda.” (News of Rwanda)

  • “Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza reportedly called for the repatriation of Burundian citizens who have fled to Rwanda since March, urging them to return to Burundi within one month.” (The East African)