Brazzaville: Bernard Makuza calls on Rwandan refugees to return home

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During a visit in Congo, from February 6th to 8th 2019, at the invitation of the President of the Congolese Senate, Pierre Ngolo, the President of the Senate of Rwanda asked his compatriots living in Congo to return to the country or to regularize their situation.

In his toast at the dinner given in honor of his delegation, Bernard Makuza said: “Regarding the situation of my compatriots who are here or elsewhere, we can never say enough, they know that they are welcome in their homeland, let them know that they have a country that is ready to receive them with open arms or to regularize their stay in their host country “.

Similarly, during his meeting with the Rwandan community on 7th February, 2019 he reiterated this call in his message on the changes that have taken place in the Republic of Rwanda over the last twenty-five years. Arrived in Congo in 1996 in the aftermath of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis, Rwandan refugees, estimated at about 12,000, have lost their status since 31 December 2017.

And since 1 January 2018, the date of the entry into force of the cessation of refugee status clause, they no longer benefit from international protection.

However, last November, three associations from this community made recommendations to the Congolese government, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and international tribunals.

 These recommendations include the application of international refugee conventions and the recognition of all Rwandan refugees without distinction.

The visit of the President of the Rwandan Senate to the Congo, as he pointed out, was part of the friendship and cooperation between the two Senates.

“Our visit to the Congo Senate is a result of the excellent relations of friendship, fraternity and cooperation that exist between our respective peoples, our two countries and extend at the regional, continental and international levels,” he said.

The visit was sanctioned by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two institutions and the Presidents of both chambers expressed their mutual commitment to strengthening parliamentary diplomacy.

Bernard Makuza also congratulated the Congolese parliament for allowing the country to be among the first to ratify the agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area, signed at the extraordinary summit of the African Union. held in Kigali in March 2018.

“The entry into force of the Continental Free Trade Area will, no doubt, mark a new stage in our march towards more integration and intra-African trade with definite advantages and benefits. our economies and, therefore, our peoples, “he said, before expressing his deep thanks and deep gratitude to the President of the Senate of Congo for the hospitality to his delegation.

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