Friday, October 16, 2009

Thousands of Rwandan refugees in Burundi

Allthough Burundi is a very poor country, the last three years at least 20000 Rwandans have crossed the border because they were fleeing either gacaca courts or political violence. The Burundi government has been sending most refugees back to Rwandan, claiming, under significant pressure from Rwanda(HRW), that they were no refugees. But now the UN refugee agency has issued a statement urging Burundi to stop deporting hundreds of Rwandan Hutus who fled across the border in the past month, UN staff Clementine Nkweta Salami, local representative of the UNHCR, said: "I want to recall that the policy of the (UN) High Commissioner for Refugees is against all driving out of refugees or asylum seekers,". Human Righs Watch states:"The interviews conducted by Human Rights Watch with several of the Rwandans indicated that some may have credible fears of persecution in Rwanda". Independent reports by journalists, human rights activists and Burundian officials to HRW of several bodies floating in the Kanyaru River that separates Burundi from Rwanda.

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