Rwanda Reiterates Her ‘Open Door’ Position on Migrants

Louise Mushikiwabo Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs

Rwanda has reiterated her firm position to host migrants who are in need of shelter, whenever international laws are observed through the process.

The government has issued a second communiqué in one month telling the general public that Rwanda’s stance to shelter those in need takes root from country’s history and belief that a human being deserves dignity.

Like it was said in the communiqué on January 22nd, the second communiqué of February 22ndreads that, “As a matter of practice and policy, Rwanda’s position on migrants and refugees has been to open its doors to any African in need of shelter.”

It reads that the policy is borne out of the History and the life lived by many Rwandans, as well as our own national values.

This policy has been applied for many years, to large numbers of migrants, refugees, long-term residents, from various countries in the region and beyond.

Rwanda’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Louise Mushikiwabo who also doubles as Government spokesperson referred to several examples whereby Rwanda has welcomed approximately 180,000 migrants from different African countries, including neighbor countries, with the assistance of the United Nations.

Recently, Rwanda also offered to host 30,000 victims of human trafficking in Libya.

She quoted President Kagame’s recent statement that “in the context of migrants from Israel – Rwanda will only receive refugees in accordance with International Laws.”

This was in reference to stories of alleged African migrants – mostly from Eritrea protesting at Rwanda’s Embassy in Israel against a decision by Israel government to send them to Rwanda and Uganda.

Rwanda refuted the allegation that she signed a deal with Israel regarding relocation of African migrants.

The current statement reads that any suggestion – explicit or implicit – that certain groups of migrants are presented with two options: “go to Rwanda or go to jail” would be wrong and offensive.

“The situation of migrants in Israel, and the process of their leaving, is an internal Israeli issue. As long as legal requirements are met, Rwanda, within its means, will be willing to assist any migrant in need.”

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