Politics

Burundians expelled from Rwanda regret being separated from families

Local authorities in Kirundo province, in the north of Burundi report that about 3,000 Burundians have been expelled from Rwanda since June 2018, because they refused to live in the refugee camps. They complain that they are separated from their families, explaining that men married to Rwandan women are expelled while their wives and children stay in Rwanda.

Philippe Nzobonariba, Spokesman for Burundi government “Rwandan authorities must respond to the crimes they committed by separating children from their parents and the wives from their husbands,"

Philippe Nzobonariba, Spokesman for Burundi government “Rwandan authorities must respond to the crimes they committed by separating children from their parents and the wives from their husbands,”

“I left my six children and grandchildren in Rwanda. I want to go back there to live with them,” says Marie Mukerandanga adding that she preferred to return to Burundi instead of going to live in Mahama refugee camp. “Rwandan authorities have ordered us to choose between going to live in the refugee camp and returning home. I went to Rwanda in 2012 to look for a job. I didn’t flee my country, “says Mukerandanga. She explains that Rwandan authorities suspected Burundians of stealing cows in Rwanda overnight and carry them to Burundi.

Expelled people also say that they left their wealth in Rwanda. “We could not bring anything. Not even clothes,” says a young woman who was married to a Rwandan man adding that she left a two-year old child and his father. “I want to go back there to take care of my family as I have nothing in Burundi.”I live thanks to the help of my neighbors,” she says.

Philippe Nzobonariba, Spokesman for Burundi government promises to lodge complaints concerning people expelled from Rwanda to international human rights organizations. “Rwandan authorities must respond to the crimes they committed by separating children from their parents and the wives from their husbands,” says Nzobonariba. He reassures them that the international community will intervene to help the separated families to reunite.

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