Mon, Apr 22, 2013 - Page 6 News List

Rwandan Hutus fear genocide reprisal if forcefully repatriated

AP, NAKIVALE, Uganda

Hamida Kabagwira, another Hutu refugee, said she will not forced to return to Rwanda.

“If they want it, they will have to come here and kill us. I will never find peace in Rwanda,” said Kabagwira, who was recently reunited with her husband, Shaban Mutabazi.

Mutabazi, who said he spent 16 years in a Rwandan jail for alleged genocide, fled to Uganda in January after serving his sentence because “after that everyone in my village saw me like an animal.”

UNHCR opposes forcible repatriations, but is powerless to stop them. A decision to forcibly evict refugees would be the responsibility of Ugandan officials, Beck said, adding that about 90 percent of refugees do not want to return.

Moses Watasa, a spokesman for the Ugandan department that manages refugees, said his office cannot be expected to rely on the refugees’ opinion of safety in Rwanda and that input from Rwanda’s government and the international community would be crucial.

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