Despite their refugee status getting expired, Rwandan refugees who are in Malawi are free to stay as their repatriation depends on voluntary decision.
According to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR), Malawi has 358 refugees who were affected with the cessation clause in December last year.
In an interview with Malawi24, UNHCR Reporting and Public Information Officer in Malawi Rumbani Msiska said the refugees who lost their status are currently being given aid from the refugee body.
“Kindly note that Rwandans are not being forced to return to Rwanda, regardless of their current status. UNHCR’s comprehensive solutions strategy for these refugees includes voluntary repatriation and local integration. For those unwilling to return home, advocacy will continue with the government of Malawi to grant them residence rights or, for those meeting the criteria, citizenship rights,” said Msiska.
He further disclosed that Malawi has a few Rwandan refugees who were affected by cessation clause that denounced their refugee status.
“All other 6,129 Rwandan refugees and asylum seekers we currently have in Dzaleka as of 28 February, 2018 are not affected in anyway by the cessation and are receiving everything that is supposed to be accorded to them such as Food and Non-Food Items (NFIs) among others,” Msiska added.