The Minister of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs (MIDIMAR)Mukantabana Seraphine visited Congolese refugees in Nkamira Transit Center in Rubavu District in Western Province to advocate for refugees protection March 14, 2013.
That was her first visit in refugee camps since she started her functions in this Ministry early last February.
Minister Mukantabana said her visit in Nkamira TC aimed at witnessing herself the life conditions that refugees are experiencing and interact with them to listen to their views.
On that day, Nkamira TC hosted 7603 Congolese refugees who have accumulatively fled to Rwanda since December 2012.
Refugees applauded the Minister for her good initiative to visit them during the first days of her functions in MIDIMAR. They also commended the efforts so far invested by the Government of Rwanda to receive them and provide necessary protection.
Addressing the huge crowd of Congolese refugees in Nkamira Transit Center, Minister Mukantabana comforted them and assured them of continued efforts of the Government of Rwanda to protect, to advocate that they get their full rights as long as they are in Rwanda and to actively participate into the peace building process for DRC.
“We understand that you are experiencing difficult situation here because there is no pleasure in being a refugee. We shall continue to advocate so that you can acquire all you deserve as long as you are on the soil of Rwanda” Pledged Minister Mukantabana.
“I also encourage you to be hopeful that one day peace shall be restored and you will return to your country. The Government of Rwanda shall continue to play active role through the International Community to ensure that peace is restored in DRC so that all refugees can return.” Minster added.
Minister Mukantabana also promised that the Ministry is working extra hard to avail a suitable place far from the border for the relocation of refugees from Nkamira Transit center in order to respond o the threat posed by serious congestion but also to ensure more safety and protection for refugees.
MIDIMAR has started to extend Nyabiheke camp located in Gatsibo District in the Eastern Province in order to find space to accommodate Congolese refugees still hosted in Nkamira TC.
Urging on family planning
Minister Mukantabana Seraphine also urged refugees to observe family planning practices in order to safeguard and protect women lives during this hard life conditions in exile. She called competent organizations operating in the camp to intensify the awareness on AIDS and reproductive health in order to avoid unplanned pregnancies especially for teenagers.
The demographic figures show that 57% of refugees in Nkamira TC are women, and 43% male. The same figures also reveal that 61% among refugees are children under 17 years old.