Over 8,000 Rwandans Who Escaped 1994 Genocide Now Refugees In Congo Brazzaville

Several Rwandan refugees in Republic of Congo have expired refugee status since 2017, as many of them have lived in Congo for over 25 years.

Over 8,000 Rwandans who escaped from their country during the 1994 genocide have continued to live in the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) though their refugee status expired since 2017.

The Rwandans are spread throughout Congo and are now soliciting the regularisation of their status so that they can become congolese citizens.

“People who have lost their refugee status are up to 8,460. We are soliciting Congolese nationality from the authorities who received us for the last 25 years. We need this nationality. Let the state help us find the necessary documentation that can help us circulate freely,” Aloise Bayingana, President of the Rwandan community in Congo Brazzaville.

“Most of these former refugees have demanded Congolese nationality and are still waiting for answers from the Congolese authorities. They are all well integrated into the Congolese community,” Bayingana added.

By the expiry date of their refugee status on Dec. 31, 2017, about 104 Rwandan refugees had voluntarily returned to their country which established diplomatic relations with the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) in 1982.

The Rwandan President Paul Kagame, has been on a working visit to Brazzaville since Monday, April 11. He will leave the country today, Wednesday, April 13, after addressing the Congolese parliament, signing bilateral accords and visiting farms in the north of the country together with his host President Denis Sassou N”Guesso.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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