UN says Rwandan refugees illegally forced out of Burundi

[JURIST] UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said in a statement Tuesday that 5,000 Rwandan refugees who fled to the Songore camp in Burundi to escape the 1994 genocide [BBC backgrounder] had been involuntarily returned to Rwanda on Sunday and Monday. Burundian authorities had declared the refugees "illegal immigrants" [JURIST report] over the weekend. UN officials alleged that the government actions violated the 1951 UN Refugee Convention and the 1974 Organization of African Unity [official website] convention. In Geneva, UNHCR chief spokesman Ron Redmond said the UN refugee agency was not permitted [press release] to communicate with or access the refugees in Songore. The UN report conflicts with that of Burundi Interior Minister Jean Marie Ngendahayo, who said the refugees voluntarily repatriated to their home country. Reuters has more.

 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.