The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said on Friday it had closed the Gikonko transit site in southern Rwanda and that most of the Burundian refugees there had returned home.
"More than 1,200 repatriated to Burundi with UNHCR assistance, while 740 were transferred to Nyamure Camp just to the north [of Rwanda]," Volker Schimmel, the agency's spokesman in Kigali, said.
Gikonko, in the district of Mamba in Rwanda's Butare Province, would be dismantled shortly, he said. UNHCR first hosted refugees at the site in September 2004, when Burundians started fleeing amid fears of violence during the country's election campaign.
Some 4,000 Burundian refugees remain in various camps in Rwanda but at least 3,100 others have returned home voluntarily since 30 June.
"Most of them spent a night in the Songore transit centre [in northern Burundi] before being transported to their areas of origin, mostly in the northern Kirundo Province," Schimmel said.
Once in Burundi, the returnees are monitored by UNHCR. Schimmel said the agency] worked with the Burundian government and other partners to support reintegration programmes that focused on rehabilitating schools and health centres, as well as income-generating activities.
This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions
It was The New Humanitarian’s investigation with the Thomson Reuters Foundation that uncovered sexual abuse by aid workers during the Ebola response in the Democratic Republic of Congo and led the World Health Organization to launch an independent review and reform its practices.
This demonstrates the important impact that our journalism can have.
But this won’t be the last case of aid worker sex abuse. This also won’t be the last time the aid sector has to ask itself difficult questions about why justice for victims of sexual abuse and exploitation has been sorely lacking.
We’re already working on our next investigation, but reporting like this takes months, sometimes years, and can’t be done alone.
The support of our readers and donors helps keep our journalism free and accessible for all. Donations mean we can keep holding power in the aid sector accountable, and shine a light on similar abuses.