The Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, also known as the 1951 Refugee Convention, is a United Nations multilateral treaty that defines who is a refugee, and sets out the rights of individuals who are granted asylum and the responsibilities of nations that grant asylum.
The Convention builds on Article 14 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which recognizes the right of persons to seek asylum from persecution in other countries. A refugee may enjoy rights and benefits in a state in addition to those provided for in the Convention.
DEFINITION OF A REFUGEE.
Article 1 of the Convention, as amended by the 1967 Protocol, defines a refugee as:
“A person who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it..”
WHO IS FRANCOISE UWAMAHORO?
The story of FRANCOISE UWAMAHORO raises questions as to whether the International Community really considers lives of Rwandan Refugees living in the Democratic Republic of Congo(DR Congo) to be of any value at all.
On July 23rd,2015,Francoise Uwamahoro had a miscarriage due to lack of medical care inside the Kisangani transit camp,while a man named Kanimba died in Walungu after long weeks of agony.
Since then,reliable sources within the Red Cross told more than 800 hundred Rwandan Refugees in the Kisangani Camp that their aid was limited for it was not fully supported by the international community.They could only assist them up to a certain degree.
Rwandan refugees in DR Congo are under the umbrella of the MONUSCO which is led by Martin Kobler.
Many Refugees complain that Martin Kobler’s staffers have increased pressure on them by subjecting them to inhuman treatment in order to compel them to return to Rwanda(to satisfy what the oppressive RPF Government in Rwanda wants).
Some have testified that these staffers go as far as threatening them into remote tropical jungle areas where they won’t have any ways to communicate their problems to the rest of the world.
They also confiscate mobile phones from Rwandan Refugees to prevent them from exposing the horrors that are taking place inside the camp.
FRANCOISE UWAMAHORO : WHY HER RIGHTS MATTER.
It is common cause that several women refugees get to be raped by people who were supposed to protect them(UN Personnel).
On July 9th,2015 some refugees aired their concerns about what was happening inside the Camp(forced starvation,denial of medical care,etc….) to dignitaries who visited the camp but nothing has been done to remedy all these issues that were raised.Their plight continues to be ignored.They are still treated like animals who enjoy no rights whatsoever.Anyone can do anything to them as they please.
Francoise was denied an inalienable right by the International Community.She also lost a child(foetus) as a result of the psychological trauma she was subjected to.
She testified that some Red Cross personnel confided in her that Martin Kobler had stopped the Red Cross from helping Rwandan refugees in need.That is why they could not attend to her on time.
This is a grave violation of Human Rights and a slap on the concept of “Human Decency”.
Everyone should be prepared to give credence to the story of a ‘pregnant woman’.Policies should not outweigh the life of a humanbeing.Doing so will be barbaric and insidious to the human existence.
Laws are put in place for a reason.They are to be followed and abided by to the fullest extent.They ought not to be selective.
Francoise meets all the requirements required under International Law to benefit from the status of a “Refugee” and yet,she has not been treated like one.
She must be compensated for the trauma she went through after being denied ‘medical care’-her fundamental right and the untimely loss of her child(foetus) due to the inhuman treatment she was subjected to by the UN under the auspices of MONUSCO.
By Lionel Nishimwe(LLB,Hons-Lawyer/Politician).