Rwanda and Congo come to blows over refugee crisis

THOUSANDS OF Congolese refugees have been threatened with eviction from Rwanda as tensions between the two African countries grow.

Speaking in the capital Kigali, President Paul Kagame hit back at claims from the international community that violent unrest in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DCR) has been supported by the east-African nation.

He said he would remove refugees from the country if blame continued to be stoked against Rwanda after a UN report backed the claims.

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“We cannot keep being host to refugees for which we are later on held accountable in some way or even abused about — refugees as a result of ethnic cleansing based in another country — and we must be a dumping ground of those people who are being deprived of their rights,” he said.

“We cannot keep being host to refugees for which we are later on held accountable in some way or even abused about — refugees as a result of ethnic cleansing based in another country — and we must be a dumping ground of those people who are being deprived of their rights.”

Mr. Kagame’s comments come after he agreed to send asylum seekers in the UK to start new lives in Rwanda after striking a deal with the British government.

A Congolese government spokesman added fuel to the fire after accusing the Rwandan president of not valuing people’s human rights and claimed that the country had blackmailed the international community by using vulnerable refugees fleeing conflict for political purposes.

The DCR has descended in chaos as their government clashes with M23 rebel movement, which Rwanda’s says is the Congo’s internal issue. More than 70,000 Congolese refugees have fled to Rwanda for safety; some have also escaped to Uganda.

Around 60% of Rwanda’s refugee population is Congolese, according to the Rwandan Ministry of Emergency Management.

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