Police to Investigate Congolese Refugees Protest

The Rwanda National Police will soon launch investigation into the cause of protests that erupted on February 20th at Kiziba Refugee Camp in Karongi District, the home to thousands of Congolese refugees.

A press release from Rwanda’s Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugees Affairs (Midimar) confirmed this development on Wednesday.

An aerial view of Kiziba refugee camp in Karongi district, in Western province of Rwanda

The Press release Reads as Follows;

Kigali, 21 February 2018 – The Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugees said today that Rwanda National Police will start investigations into the cause of protests that erupted yesterday at Kiziba Refugee Camp in Karongi District, which houses thousands of Congolese refugees.

The protests followed a decision of the World Food Programme (WFP), a partner UN agency, to reduce food assistance to the refugees by 25% due to funding shortage. All refugees hosted in Rwanda are affected by this WFP decision.

Jean Claude Rwahama, Director of Refugees Affairs in the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugees said:

“Refugee representatives have been meeting camp management, local authorities, as well as UN partner agencies to discuss the cause of Tuesday’s incident. It is unfortunate that some refugees resorted to violence even as local authorities and security personnel were working to find a solution to their grievances.

Several people were injured, but we are thankful that there were no fatalities.

 We are mindful of the rights of refugees but also caution that they must respect the laws of the host county. Police will therefore carry out thorough investigations into this incident, to establish responsibility and ensure it doesn’t re-occur.”

Mr. Rwahama also dismissed claims that there are plans to categorize refugees in Ubudehe, as this is a development-planning tool for Rwandan nationals.

 However, GoR has learnt that UN agencies were inspired by this model to provide assistance to refugees based on their specific needs and capacity, as part of the UN’s Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework.


The Kiziba camp is one of five refugee camps in Rwanda. It was established in 1996 when thousands of Congolese refugees were fleeing the conflict in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The camp currently hosts more than 17,000 refugees.

The Government of Rwanda is committed to ensuring the safety of refugees hosted in Rwanda. The Government will continue to work with various partners, including UN agencies, to improve the wellbeing of all refugees living in Rwanda.

Leave a Comment