Rwanda + 1 more

Rwanda-Tanzania: Fewer than 1,000 Rwandan refugees remain

NAIROBI, 4 March (IRIN) - Fewer than 1,000 Rwandan refugees remain in Tanzania - roughly 700 in Ngara and 300 in Kibondo - with returns continuing, according to Ivana Unluova, the spokeswoman for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
She told IRIN on Monday that of these remaining refugees, almost 40 had been identified for possible resettlement in third countries and, under the UNHCR's agreement with the government of Tanzania, they should be allowed to stay in the country until the resettlement procedure was finalised.

A 2 March deadline had been set for the repatriation of all remaining Rwandan refugees. However, UNHCR said that collaboration with Tanzanian authorities was good, and the additional time necessary was not presenting any problems.

The deadline was fixed during a tripartite meeting between UNHCR and the governments of Rwanda and Tanzania held on 13 February in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's commercial capital. The meeting was followed by a two sensitisation campaign led by a Rwandan government delegation to brief Rwandans living in refugee camps on voluntary repatriation.

UNHCR had previously reported that the voluntary repatriation of Rwandan refugees from camps in northwestern Tanzania had been completed on 27 December 2002, with the remaining caseload to be resolved by a future tripartite meeting in 2003.


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