Over 600 Congolese refugees relocated from Kigeme to Mahama camp

Over 18,000 refugees who over time fled from armed conflicts fuelled by militia groups in eastern DR Congo are currently hosted in Kigeme camp.
Ministry of Emergency Management
(The new Times)

More than 620 Congolese were relocated to Mahama camp from Kigeme refugee camp on November 3.

The countries Ministry of Emergency Management (MINEMA) said part of the reason for the relocation included their wellbeing and the need to protect the environment.

From Nyamagabe District in the Southern Province, the refugees are moving to Kirehe District in the Eastern Province a few weeks after over 2,000 Burundian refugees who were hosted in Mahama since 2015 voluntarily went back to their home country.

In a tweet, the Ministry of Emergency Management said that the relocation “is in line with protecting and improving living conditions of refugees as well as mitigating environmental degradation in and around refugee camps.”

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Over 18,000 refugees who over time fled from armed conflicts fuelled by militia groups in eastern DR Congo are currently hosted in Kigeme camp.

Prior to the recent repatriation, over 43,500 Burundians who left their country in the midst of civil unrest triggered by late President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term in office, were hosted in Mahama camp which is also the country’s largest refugee camp.

In July, more than 300 Burundian refugees settled at Mahama appealed to President Evariste Ndayishimiye for a legal and dignified return to their home country.

On August 27, the first group of  refugees numbering 493, eventually left.

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According to data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Rwanda currently houses around 77,000 refugees from DR Congo, and 71,000 refugees from Burundi amongst others, in camps and urban centres.


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