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8-14 February 2016

Media Monitoring Report for Rwanda
Posted on February 19, 2016

Compiled by Berta Fürstová

1.  Rwanda to relocate Burundian refugees in third countries in spite of Kigali recent statement

1. Rwanda to relocate Burundian refugees in third countries in spite of Kigali recent statement
Private but pro-government newspapers

“We can't kick out helpless Burundians: Mushikiwabo” by Rodrigue Rwriahira. New Times, 10th February 2016

  • The Rwandan government will continue to house and protect Burundian refugees who have fled political instability in their homeland and will not be swayed by unfounded accusations from international actors with vested interests, said Foreign Affairs minister Louise Mushikiwabo when updating the Senate on country’s foreign policy on February 9.
  • She said Rwanda was abiding by international obligations by accommodating the refugees and ensuring their safety until peace is restored in the neigbouring country to allow their repatriation.
  • “The problem is solely for Burundians. The political disputes are between citizens of Burundi, but we are not going to kick out Burundians fleeing the country because they are not friends with their government,” she said.
  • “Otherwise reports and accusations will keep coming, and we have to prepare ourselves, these are things we should expect. It’s just a question of managing them,” she said alluding to the recent UN report accusing Rwanda of recruiting rebel fighters in refugee camps.
  • “We need to be mature about issues of refugees, wherever there are refugees near their homeland, there is always a problem, it’s the case in any refugee situation that we know today,” she added.
  • So far, Rwanda is home to at least 75,000 refugees from Burundi camped in 7 sites.

“Rwanda to relocate Burundian refugees” by Doreen Umutesi. New Times, 12th February 2016

  • According to statement released on February 12 by the Office of the Government Spokesperson, Rwanda will "immediately begin working with partners in the international community to plan the orderly and safe relocation of Burundian refugees to third countries."
  • Foreign Minister and Government Spokesperson Louise Mushikiwabo pointed out that while Rwanda readily shoulders its obligations to protect and care for refugees, experience in the Great Lakes is that the long-term presence of refugees so close to their country of origin carries considerable risks for all involved.
  • "For Rwanda, the growing risks to our national security from the Burundian impasse and misunderstandings in our foreign relations are unacceptable, Mushikiwabo said.
  • Rwanda has previously requested international partners and organisations to host Burundians living in camps and in towns in Rwanda. "No party has come forward yet, even as the political situation in the refugees' country of origin shows no improvement," the statement read in part.
  • Minister Mushikiwabo said that for Rwanda and the region, the costs of repeating past mistakes of political mismanagement and international politicking, at Rwanda's expense, are too high.


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