African countries recommit to resolve Rwandan refugee situation

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African countries hosting large numbers of Rwandan refugees and Rwanda itself have reiterated their commitment to resolving the protracted refugee situation.

Ministers from eleven Southern and Central African countries have been meeting in Pretoria, South Africa this week to review progress in promoting the voluntary repatriation and reintegration of Rwandan refugees.

Adrian Edwards, Spokesperson for the UN refugee agency, says the meeting is in line with the comprehensive strategy UNHCR announced in 2009 to find a solution to the longstanding refugee situation.

"Included in the discussion was extending the possibility of local integration or alternative legal status in the country of asylum, the key components of the Comprehensive Strategy. The Strategy also provides for the cessation of refugee status for Rwandan refugees remaining in exile, and who fled their country before the end of 1998." (26")

The 1994 Rwanda genocide and its aftermath as well as armed clashes in the north-western part of the country in 1997 and 1998 produced more than 3.5 million Rwandan refugees.

Gerry Adams, United Nations.

Duration: 1'17"

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