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Rwandan exiles protest against repatriations

Some 50 Rwandan demonstrators gathered in front of the federal parliament building in Berne on Monday to protest against the Swiss government's repatriation policies.

This content was published on February 22, 2000 - 00:24

Some 50 Rwandan demonstrators gathered in front of the federal parliament building in Berne on Monday to protest against the Swiss government's repatriation policies.

The federal office for refugees decided in February that asylum-seekers who had been given the right to stay in Switzerland on a provisional basis could now return home.

The decision concerned some 500 Rwandans who fled their homeland in 1994 to escape widespread genocide, as fighting between ethnic Tutsis and Hutus escalated (picture shows refugees leaving Rwanda).

The demonstration was organised by the Society for Rwandan Exiles in Switzerland (CRES). It has already written to the justice minister, Ruth Metzler, to contest the repatriation decision.

The CRES claims that the current Tutsi regime is acting in a totalitarian manner and is carrying out a policy of ethnic cleansing towards its Hutu rivals.

The federal office for refugees says it will continue to treat repatriations on a case by case basis, in order to guarantee the safety of all those who are sent back to Rwanda.

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