Rwandan refugees in Uganda may be thrown out – Minister Onek

Thursday November 15 2018

A group of women and child refugees from Rwanda. COURTESY PHOTO

The government of Uganda is considering cancelling the refugee status of thousands of Rwandans living in Uganda.

The announcement was made by the Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees Hillary Onek while meeting lawmakers of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) in Kampala.

He explained that government is considering cancelling their refugee status and instead issuing them with temporary permits.
“We are going to turn them over to the immigration department so that their long stay in Uganda will be subjected to immigration laws because immigration laws in Uganda say that you are given a visa to stay for three months. Thereafter you have to justify your further stay in a country,” Mr Onek said.

The minister said that the process of convincing Rwandans to return home has not been easy as many are not willing to do so.

Hundreds of thousands of Rwandans fled to Uganda following the 1994 genocide.

Rwanda has generally been peaceful for over 20 years and many Rwandese who had fled have since returned to their home country.
But government says there are still over 14000 Rwandans still living in Uganda as refugees.