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Rwanda Refugees

Rwanda Refugees

The social crisis in Rwanda which has caused the flight of many African refugees has been caused by domination of political, economic and social power by the Tutsis over the Hutus. The social injustices that were inflicted on them have led to a number of civil wars.

For instance, the failed attempt by the Hutus to wrest political control away from the Tutsis led to a brutal civil war that resulted in 25,000 African refugees fleeing to nearby Tanzania, Dominic Republic of Congo and other areas of Rwanda, in a desperate hope to save the lives of themselves and their families. In addition, thousands of African refugees have been forced to relocate to the Tutsis countries because of serious conflicts and repression.

There are few countries in Africa that have resulted in a similarly high number of African refugees as Rwanda. In the mid-90s, roughly 2 million African refugees resettled, resulting in what has been considered to be one of the largest and fastest movement by African refugees in history. This large African refugee movement was due to a genocide

Most of the African refugees tended to flee to the nearby countries of Tanzania and Zaire (now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo). Since that mass movement by African refugees, there have been many attempts to send the African refugeeā€™s safely back to Rwanda. About 500,000 refugees were returned to Rwanda from Tanzania in 1996. The returns of those African refugees have been a mixture of both involuntary and voluntary returns.

Although major political and increased safety changes had occurred in Rwanda, many African refugees did not wish to return, worrying about their safety. In late 2002, the organization of Human Rights First Human Rights made a visit to the Human Rights camps in western Uganda where it had been estimated that roughly 3,000 Rwandan refugees had recently arrived from other parts of Rwanda and Tanzania.

The African refugees who spoke with the staff told them that they had faced pressure to leave Tanzania and return to Rwanda. Some said that they had come back to Rwanda under the promise of increased protection due to the new repatriation program, but still felt that their families were in danger.

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