In July 2013, UNHCR plans to invoke the Cessation Clause for Rwandan refugees who fled events occurring in the country between 1959 and 1998. If states follow this recommendation, international protection of those refugees who fled Rwanda during this period will end. The guidelines surrounding the Cessation Clause state that it should only be invoked when fundamental, durable and positive changes have taken place that mean that a well founded fear of persecution no longer exist in a particular country. Invoking the Cessation Clause thus suggests that reasons for being a refugee have ceased to exist in Rwanda. However in stating that those who fled after 1998 still have a well founded fear of persecution, UNHCR contradicts the idea that real changes have occurred in Rwanda, instead demonstrating that it is not a safe country.

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By The Fahamu Refugee Programme.