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Rwandan refugees in Malawi ‘reluctant’ to go home

Government has disclosed that Rwandan refugees at Dzaleka Refugee Camp are refusing to return home claiming that their lives will not be safe in their country .

The 1994 Rwandan genocide saw at least 800,000 nationals brutally killed by fellow citizens.

Briefing members of Defence and Security Committee of Parliament who visited the camp in Dowa today, senior administration and operations officer for the Department of Refugees in the Ministry of Homeland Security Hilda Kausiwa said the group fears that the Government of Rwanda is not being honest on their safety.

She said there are at least 6,529 Rwandan refugees at the camp and that all efforts by the department to have the community to be repatriated have not yielded any results.

Said Kausiwa: ” Repatriation is voluntary, we cannot force them to leave. There have been instances previously when some expressed interest to go back but in the end they always change their mind. We also tried to send some of their leaders to Rwanda to verify the situation on the ground but they still fear that they may be killed.”

Kausiwa also said that they are also over 33,000 Congolese at the camp who cannot return home because of the ongoing conflict in DRC

Currently there are over 51,000 refugees at the camp against a capacity of 12,000.

Meanwhile commissioner for refugees in Malawi, General Ignacio Maulana has indicated that a team of officials is expected to visit Chitipa District in the next two weeks to identify land for a new campsite for the refugees.-(Story Credit:  Ntchindi Meki, Nation Online)

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