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April 20-26, 2015

Media Monitoring Report for Rwanda
Posted on May 4, 2015
1. Rwanda faces the influx of Burundian refugees
Private but pro-government newspapers

New Times, 23rd April 2015
“‘Govt relocates Burundian refugees as arrivals hit 10,000” by James Karuhanga

  • Rwandan government has started relocating Burundian refugees from Nyanza transit camp to Mahama camp in Kirehe District. Nyanza transit camp hosted 2,557 refugees, way above its 210 capacity. The relocation comes as the number of the Burundian refugees arrivals has hit 10,000.

New Times, 24th April 2015
“‘Burundian refugees resettled” by Stephen Rwembeho

  • More than 400 Burundian refugees relocated from Nyanza District in Southern Province have been resettled in Mahama Sector, Kirehe District. They were provided shelter, given access to clean water, a mobile clinic and police protection.
  • Charles Nzotungikimpaye, a refugee, appealed for intervention: “It is a time bomb…it may explode any time. We were harassed; our property was destroyed or taken by the militia. So many people have died in the process, all this happened in our communities, so we are talking about what we know, UN should intervene before it is too late.“
  • Jean Claude Rwahama, the in charge of refugees’ affairs at the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs, said the transfer was in line with the UN directives that refugees should be hosted in at least 50 kilometers away from their country of origin.
  • “The number keeps on changing…as we talk now, I have just been told that hundreds more have entered the country. It is a challenge, but we are doing everything to manage the influx,” said Rwahama.

New Times, 25th April 2015
“‘Fleeing Burundians granted refugee status” by James Karuhanga

  • Rwandan government has granted the Burundians who have crossed into the country prima facie refugee status. The Minister for Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs, Seraphine Mukantabana, said the decision was taken considering the overwhelming number of Burundians who continue to trek into the country seeking refuge, with a daily average now at 800 refugees. 
  • The minister noted that the government has thought about a contingency plan if the refugees threaten to reach 50,000, a number she admitted would be way beyond Rwanda’s holding capacity.
  • Martina Pomeroy, UNHCR-Rwanda external relations officer, told that currently, their working plan is for 30,000 people.
  • On April 23, the number of Burundian refugees had reached 11,915.
  • Apart from the Burundians, the country is already home to more than 73, 000 Congolese refugees settled in five camps in various parts of the country.

New Times, 26th April 2015
“‘Burundian refugee daily arrivals hit 3,000” by James Karuhanga

  • According to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs (Midimar), the daily influx of Burundian refugees into Rwanda is heading to a record 3,000.
  • The number of Burundian refugees reached 13, 729 on April 24.
  • Rwandan government and the UNHCR are evacuating big numbers of refugees from the transit centres to a settlement camp in Mahama, with capacity for 50,000 people on its 50 hectares. 
2. Voluntary repatriation of ex-M23 rebels starts
Private but pro-government newspapers

New Times, 24th April 2015
“‘Voluntary repatriation of ex-M23 rebels starts” by Edwin Musoni

  • Thirteen former members of the M23 rebels decided to return voluntarily to their home in DR Congo shortly after meeting with Congolese deputy defence minister, René Sibu Matubukam who assured them of their security back home. The group is part of the 200 rebels currently camped in Ngoma District.
  • The exercise was witnessed by officials of the UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region, ICGLR and officials from the Government of Rwanda.
  • Shortly after the joint communiqué was signed, the 13 former rebels were transported to Goma in eastern DR Congo, aboard a minibus in the company of UN officials.
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