Refugees in eastern DRC: A discussion document

This paper discusses the situation of Congolese refugees in Rwanda, living in both refugee camps and in ‘host’ villages.

The question of the ‘refugees’ in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is complex. With recent allegations of the return of thousands of Congolese refugees from Rwanda, and with the recent request of the Rwandan government to implement a cessation clause with regards to the refugee status of all Rwandan refugees, the situation has become yet more fluid.

We are thus in a situation that concerns two types of refugees:

  • Congolese refugees in Rwanda who are present in three refugee camps (other Congolese refugees are in Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi). More refugees are living in ‘host’ villages in Rwanda.
  • Rwandan refugees in DRC – particularly in the east (other Rwandan refugees are present in the sub-region and in Congo-Brazzaville, and in some western countries). The refugees in eastern DRC are not living in camps.