Gov’t To Decide On Rwandan Students’ Asylum Request

buy more about geneva;”>While the students claim they face persecution in their home country, hospital Rwanda Education Ministry and President Paul Kagame maintain they are fleeing from being held accountable for indulging in examination malpractices.

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David Apollo Kazungu, a Commissioner in the Department of refugees at the Office of the Prime Minister says after being interviewed, the students “are considered asylum seekers till the Refugee Eligibility Committee pronounces itself on their refugee status.”

“As asylum seekers they are protected by the 1951 UN Convention, the OAU protocol relating to status of refugees and asylum seekers, together with the Refugee Act 2006 of the Government of Uganda,” explained Kazungu.

He added: “Cardinal in all these legislations is the fact that no person seeking asylum will be forced back to where he or she is likely to be persecuted.”

Kazungu said contrary to Rwandan Ambassador Maj Gen Frank Mugambagye’s claims that the students would be deported, “till such a time when the Refugee Eligibility Committee pronounces itself on the status of the 16 students, they are protected against forceful return or deportation.”


The Refugee Eligibility Committee is an inter-ministerial committee which determines status of asylum seekers. UNHCR is also an observer on the Committee.

President Kagame recently said it was unacceptable for people to turn criminality into reasons to seek asylum.

“These are part of 574 students who were studying at informal ‘coaching centres’, and through the proprietors of these centres, bribed head teachers of formal schools to register them as fulltime candidates to sit for senior six exams,” said Kagame.

“When the Rwanda Examinations Council discovered these malpractices, the results were cancelled, and the students were asked to re-sit the exams.”

Rwanda also denied allegations that the students were being harassed by officials at their country’s embassy in Kampala.

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