Rwanda disbands Congolese refugee camp leadership

Tuesday May 1 2018

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RWANDA 

JOHNSON KANAMUGIRE
By JOHNSON KANAMUGIRE
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Rwanda has disbanded the Congolese refugee leadership for Kiziba camp over accusations of fuelling unrest.

Kigali blamed the camp leaders for derailing the return to normalcy following the February deadly protests over reduction in food rations.

The Disaster Management and Refugees (MIDIMAR) ministry accused the refugees’ executive committee of mobilising the revolt against the government and partner institutions.

MIDIMAR indicated it had decided to dissolve the committee to stop violent, unruly and provocative conduct that was paralysing safety in the camp and in its surroundings.

The management

“The refugees’ executive committee, which was established to help in the management of the camp, has instead been mobilising refugees to revolt against government officials and partner institutions, denying them access to the camp, and causing disorder among the refugees, thereby rendering the camp and its surroundings unsafe,” MIDIMAR said in a statement on Monday.

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MIDIMAR said it had dissolved the committee with immediate effect to restore order, and allow for dialogue to resolve “any existing or emerging challenges”.

Kigali has also warned that refugee attempting to interfere with the process of restoring normalcy in the camp would be violating the law and would be held to account.

Suspected ringleaders

The move comes amid last week’s reports of rising tensions that saw the government deploy security agents to the Kiziba camp.

The food protest in February had over 10 refugees shot dead and several others injured in a clash with the police.

More than 22 suspected ringleaders were currently facing justice.

Rwanda currently hosts more than 17,000 Congolese refugees at the Kiziba camp.

They say the food assistance they received reduced by 25 per cent in January following another 10 per cent reduction in November last year.