Rwanda, to this day, is attempting to reach peaceful terms within the country, but also with its neighboring countries, due to the horrific genocide that occurred in 1994. An estimated 800,000 people were slaughtered in Rwanda in 1994, due to internal turmoil between the African ethnic groups, the Hutus and Tutsis. Around 100,000 Rwandans had sought refuge in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), alone, that same year. Thousands of other Rwandans scattered to other neighboring countries.
Recently, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been able to bring together Joseph Kabila (DRC president) and Paul Kagame (Rwandan president) to begin discussing the repatriation of the Rwandans (an issue that both parties have been avoiding for 13 years). Similar negotiations to repatriate the estimated 12,000 Rwandan refugees in Uganda have been convoluted and stagnant in the past. However, with the UNHCR’s continued efforts, the refugee status of Rwandans is projected to be eliminated by June 2012.
Although this cessation clause sounds hopeful, Rwandan refugees are still in desperate need of assistance until the following year. Refugees International Japan funds multiple worldwide refugee projects for large populations of war-affected refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) through grants. Donations are greatly appreciated and will be used to bring comfort to the tens of thousands in need. Also, to help RIJ raise awareness of refugee issues on a local, national, and global level, we’d love for you to become a member of RIJ or a part of the RIJ Students program. Thank you for your support.
Article by Alisha
Edited by Kanako