World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Rwandan Refugees Moved Without Notice

Rwandan Refugees Moved Without Notice Farther into Burundi, UN Says

New York, May 31 2005 5:00PM

The United Nations refugee agency today expressed concern over the surprise relocation over the weekend of thousands of Rwandan asylum-seekers by Burundian authorities to an inadequately equipped northern transit centre in their post-conflict Great Lakes country.

Without notifying the Office of the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) for the second time in a month, Burundian troops dismantled three border sites where more than 5,500 Rwandans had recently received temporary shelters, latrines and water, and thousands of them were walking 50 kilometres to Songore transit centre, UNHCR spokeswoman Jennifer Pagonis said.
The Burundian authorities also ordered the closure of Cankuzo transit centre, with its 1,700 refugees, shortly after temporary shelters, sanitation facilities and water had arrived there, she said. UNHCR moved 572 Rwandans from Cankuzo to Songore and the transfer was continuing.

“Although UNHCR has been pressing for the relocation of the asylum seekers to the two inland transit centres for security and assistance reasons, the way this is being done causes us concern," Ms. Pagonis said.

"Songore is ill-prepared to receive large numbers of people and those converging there now are once again in very precarious conditions. They will initially have to live in the open, without basic sanitation facilities and with limited water supplies."

The agency would take two or three weeks to expand and upgrade the facilities at Songore, she said.

Rwandan asylum-seekers first arrived in Burundi in early April, citing fears of traditional local courts, or gacaca tribunals, looking into the 1994 genocide by Hutu extremists that took the lives of some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus. They also cited threats of intimidation, persecution and rumours of revenge as reasons for leaving home. The refugees built makeshift shelters just inside the border in Burundi.

The ethnic ratios of Tutsis, Hutus and Twa in Burundi and Rwanda are similar.
UNHCR said another 1,500 Rwandan refugees had arrived in Uganda.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news