BUKAVU, DR Congo (Xinhua) --
Nearly 2,500 Burundian refugees from a transit
camp in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on Wednesday
crossed the border to arrive in Rwanda, according to DRC border
An official from the
DRC’s migration service said the Burundian refugees, previously
settled in Kamanyola in South Kivu, are currently in Bugarama,
The UN mission in
the DRC claimed to have escorted these Burundian refugees to the
border with Rwanda for the crossing.
“They told us that
they wanted to leave the Kamanyola transit camp in the
Democratic Republic of the Congo, and asked the MONUSCO force to
accompany them to the border with Rwanda, which we accepted in
accordance with our mandate of protection of civilians on
Congolese soil,” said MONUSCO spokesperson in the DRC, Florence
In a statement on
Wednesday, an adviser to DRC President Joseph Kabila said Rwanda
had agreed to host these refugees on its territory.
“They were not
refugees but asylum seekers, and they did not escape. The
reality is that the Congolese government has decided not to
grant them asylum following their refusal to comply with certain
requirements on this matter,” the adviser said.
The presence of
these Burundian refugees in the province of South-Kivu has been
at the root of several controversies between the authorities and
the local population. The Burundian government has also
repeatedly requested their extradition to Burundi.
According to sources
close to the UN Mission in the DRC, these Burundian refugees had
decided to go to Rwanda for fear of being forcibly extradited to
Burundi by the DRC authorities.
Rwanda may not continue
cooperation with Human Rights Watch: official
KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) --
Rwanda is not ready to renew cooperation agreements with Human
Rights Watch (HRW) if it continues ignoring the government’s
stance on the country’s human rights situation, a government
official said Tuesday.
head of the International Justice and Judicial Cooperation
Department at Rwanda’s Ministry of Justice, said the HRW, an
international human rights watchdog, had breached related terms
of agreements. He required the HRW to include the Rwandan
government’s statements about the country’s human rights
situation in its reports.
“They rush to
publish reports that tarnish the image of the country, ignoring
Rwanda’s efforts in improving human rights,” she said.
Even though the
watchdog was not satisfied with the Rwandan government’s
explanations about their findings, it should include them in
their reports under the agreements, said Umurungi.
But the HRW has not
done so over the past years, she said, adding that fabricated
reports have been published without evidence instead.
Ever since the
latest agreement expired, the HRW has not sought its renewal,
suggested that the HRW’s agenda in Rwanda is not about human
The latest agreement
between Rwanda and the HRW was signed in June 2016 and expired
in March 2017.
The HRW has
repeatedly accused Rwanda of human rights violations. An HRW
report released last October said there were unlawful detentions
in military camps and widespread and systematic tortures by the
military in Rwanda.
When responding to
the reports, Rwandan Justice Minister Johnston Busingye accused
the HRW of “recycling old baseless allegations for which they
have no credible evidence.”