GENEVA – The Global Campaign for Rwandans’ Human Rights, also known as Rwandans Rights, had a series of productive meetings this week in Geneva in response to the recent forced relocations of Rwandan refugees in Malawi.
The non-profit organisation, whose mission focuses on the protection and advocacy of human rights for Rwandans globally, met with Malawian officials and representatives from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
Rene Mugenzi, the Chairman of Rwandans Rights, shared the outcomes of these critical dialogues via social media. He highlighted that Malawi had made clear its stance that asylum seekers and refugees in the country must respect local laws, including residing in refugee camps unless they have the necessary permissions to live elsewhere.
Regret was expressed by the Malawian officials for the brutalities and unjust detentions that took place during the initial stages of forced relocations. Promises were made to ensure future operations are conducted more smoothly and humanely. The Malawi government also urged refugees to use legal remedies when they feel unjustly treated, including those facing deportation, and to work with local civil society organizations to advocate for their rights.
On the relocation front, it was also revealed that the Dzaleka refugee camp is set to close, with refugees to be moved to an undisclosed location.
In his meeting with the UNHCR, Mugenzi was assured that the agency is closely following the situation and doing its utmost to ensure that displaced refugees are being settled into camps in a humane way. The UNHCR is actively communicating with the Malawian government about the refugee crisis and is looking at ways to support legal aid for the refugees in Malawi.
The Rwandans Rights representative seemed hopeful after these meetings, indicating that their collaboration with both Malawian officials and the UNHCR would continue for the benefit of all refugees involved.
This series of meetings represents a significant step forward in addressing the current refugee crisis. However, the situation is fluid, and the international community continues to watch closely as events unfold in Malawi. The hope remains that all parties will continue to act in the best interest of the refugees, protecting their rights and ensuring their safety and dignity.