© 2020

Post-Genocide Rwandan Refugees

Why They Refuse to Return ‘Home’: Myths and Realities


About this book


This book highlights the repeated refusal of post-genocide Rwandan refugees to return ‘home’ and why even high-profile government officials continue to flee to this day. This resistance has taken place for a lengthy period in spite of the fact that genocide ended 25 years ago and the government of Rwanda and the United Nations have assured security in the country. Based on interviews conducted with a number of refugees living in Africa, Europe, and North America, the book explains the high degree of fear and trauma refugees have experienced in the face of the present Rwandan government that was involved in the genocide and other serious crimes both in Rwanda and the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo. With this book, refugee policies and implementation of the United Nations and some host countries in Africa must be questioned. Some exiles have been stripped of their refugee status in early 2018 and host countries may refoul the refugees back to Rwanda, counter to the principle of non-refoulement (“no expulsion of refugees to a high-risk country”), the cornerstone of asylum and of international refugee law. 

 “Forced migration is at the heart of the peacebuilding, conflict and insecurity challenges of the Great Lakes region of Africa. Refugee flows between the DRC and Rwanda have epitomized the human misery of contemporary armed conflict, in particular in the 1990s. Masako Yonekawa provides unique insights that are both politically compelling and deeply moving at the human level. It is written by someone with firsthand experience of the tragedy, and it effectively demonstrates that the humanitarian crisis of forced migration in the region was also a political crisis and a failure of international engagement. It is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand this difficult episode.”

Edward Newman, Professor, School of Politics and International Studies, University of Leeds


Rwandan Refugees UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) Cessation Clause of Refugees’ Status Protection Forced Repatriation RPF (Rwandan Patriotic Front)

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Economics and Informatics DepartmentTsukuba Gakuin UniversityTsukubaJapan

About the authors

Masako Yonekawa,Tsukuba Gakuin University

Bibliographic information