Rwanda urges refugees to return home

By Nangayi Guyson – BLANTYRE, Malawi (AFP) – Rwanda’s refugees minister General Marcel Gatsinzi has called on some 2,000 refugees in Malawi to come home, saying the country had returned to peace and stability, local media said on Sunday.

rwanda refugees

Rwanda refugees

Malawi’s Sunday Times quoted Rwanda’s refugees minister saying.”Please return home. There is peace in Rwanda, there is security in Rwanda.”

Gatsinzi told the refugees not to fear “wrong information” telling them they would be prosecuted for genocide if they returned home.

He said such information was being spread by “fugitive Rwandans who committed crimes during the genocide and are on the run across the globe.”

He made the appeal at Dzaleka camp in Dowa district in central Malawi, which houses some 14,000 refugees from Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan.

Rwanda’s 1994 genocide claimed 800,000 lives and sent an estimated two million refugees over the country’s borders.

Aaron Sangala, Malawi’s internal affairs minister, said authorities from the two countries would draw up a road map for repatriating the refugees on voluntary basis.

However, in 2009 , Rwanda and United Nations refugee agency UNHCR, made an agreement which allowed  Rwandans who fled to Malawi to have refugee status until the end of this year.

Those who want to remain will have to apply for temporary residency or citizenship.