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Statement Of Rwandan Ministry Of Emergency On abuse allegation at Gashora Transit Centre

On 14 April 2020, a minor refugee filed a complaint of sexual assault against the police commander at Gashora Transit Centre. The Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) has thoroughly investigated this allegation and determined that it was unfounded.

On 13 April 2020, three refugees (two adults and one minor), including the complainant, returned to Gashora Transit Centre after curfew. In accordance with procedure, they were held at the sentry house adjacent to the gate until the arrival of the police commander. The police commander reminded the three refugees about the importance of established curfew rules, particularly in the context of the Covid lockdown.

The medical report determined that no physical assault took place, and the testimonies of all eye witnesses (including the two adult companions of the complainant) indicate that no sexual abuse took place. At no time was the complainant separated from his companions during the period in question.

Investigation further determined that five adult refugees are responsible for pressuring the minor refugee to make the false report, which they then transmitted to media contacts in a bid to accelerate their resettlement. Given that context, the minor refugee will not face charges for filing a false police report.

The Government of Rwanda, in partnership with the African Union and UNHCR, established in September 2019 the Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM) for the evacuation of refugees and asylum seekers of various nationalities from Libya. The Government of Rwanda will continue to work with UNHCR and other partners to ensure the protection and safety of all refugees in the country.

Media contact:
Olivier KAYUMBA, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Emergency Management
Tel: +250788306550
Email: ps@minema.gov.rw

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