The development has been confirmed by the country’s Minister of Interior, Ken Zikhale.
He said that these individuals expressed desire for voluntary repatriation to their homeland, given that the country is currently safe.
The deportation expected to begin this Wednesday. Preparations
Zikhale also revealed that talks are underway with Burundian refugees currently living in Malawi, suggesting the possibility of a similar repatriation to their country of origin.
The Director for UNHCR’s Regional Bureau for Southern Africa, Valentine Tapsoba explained that these refugees are being offered three options: repatriation to their country of origin, assistance to settle in their host country, or relocation to another country. However, the majority has chosen repatriation.
It should be noted that the refugee status for Rwandans who fled between 1959 and 1998 expired on December 31, 2017. Since then, the Rwandan government has actively campaigned to encourage the return of refugees, emphasizing the restored peace in Rwanda or seek residence documents for those preferring to stay in host countries.
On Sunday 11th June 2023, Malawi extradited to Rwanda, Théoneste Niyongira alias Kanyoni, a suspect accused of role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.