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Rwanda refugees in Uganda flee repatriation
afrol News, 14 May - Uganda authorities have said more than 20 Rwandan refugees are fleeing camps daily as government implements the repatriation programme. The Uganda government has plans to repatriate more than 20,000 Rwanda refugees spread in two major camps in the south western Uganda before the end of July.
According to the Uganda government officials, some refugees were selling their belongings as they prepared to leave the camps before the 31 July repatriation deadline set by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the Ugandan government.
However, the Kigali ministry of local government, in response has said the fleeing refugees are not the cause for alarm, saying the refugees are trying to mingle with local communities.
Kigali has also reported that some refugees had staged a campaign discouraging refugees from returning to Rwanda fearing possible prosecution for the 1994 genocide atrocities.
According to UNHCR communications officer, Carolyne Akello, the agency is investigating the cases of the fleeing refugees.
"The UNHCR continues to assist and encourage Rwandan refugees in Uganda to seize this opportunity and return to their country; however, the exercise is voluntary. We shall devise means of dealing with those who are not willing to be repatriated after July 31, when the exercise closes," Ms Akello said.
She further stated that the agency will sort means of dealing with those who are not willing to be repatriated after 31 July, when the exercise term expires. "The government of Uganda and UNHCR will undertake to find a durable solution in case of residual caseload," she said.
Since the 1960's and after the 1994, many Rwandese have been taking refugee in Uganda because of the political turmoil their country has had.
Analysts say that the 1994 genocide which left more than 800,000 Rwandese massacred saw many fleeing the country to take refugee in Uganda.
By staff writer
© afrol News
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