Kigali, April 15 2011
President Kagame today received 12 Rwandans living in Zambia and Malawi, with whom he held discussions on various issues concerning Rwanda. The Rwandans are part of the Diaspora that lives in the two countries, having fled Rwanda during the 1994 genocide. They have been in the country for two weeks. During their stay, they were able to visit several Rwandan institutions, including Rwandan security organs and both chambers of the Parliament. They also met the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Health and traveled to Mutobo reintegration camp.
Speaking to the press after meeting the President, Maniliho Rodrigue, a Biomedical Scientist working with the Lusaka University Teaching Hospital said:
“We are going back to tell fellow Rwandans about what we have seen with our own eyes. They have to know that what they hear and read on the internet is mostly untrue. As the President told us, all Rwandans have the right to stay wherever they are but not as refuges but as Rwandans living in the Diaspora”.
Jean Claude Gasana, a businessman who is also the head of the Rwandan Diaspora in Malawi said that there are more than 4,000 Rwandans in Malawi interested in returning home but either hesitate due to misinformation or lack the means and capacity to do so:
“During our visit to Mutobo reintegration camp, we talked to ex-FDLR commanders who assured us that there was no reason whatsoever for anyone to stay out of the country as a refugee because the country is safe and secure for everyone. Coming from such people, we were left without doubt”.
The Minister of Foreign of Affairs, Louise Mushikiwabo said that President Kagame gave the Rwandans a clear picture of where Rwanda is today and where it wants to be in the future:
“President Kagame assured them that this country is theirs and at this particular time in our history, no Rwandan should be excluded. The President told them that they belong to Rwanda and whether they want to return or remain wherever they are, the country is open to them and the leadership is ready to continue protecting the interests of any Rwandan wherever they are”.