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close this bookICRC Activities in Rwanda: 1993 - 6 April 2000 (International Committee of the Red Cross , 230 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentRECENT HISTORY
View the documentANNUAL REPORT 1993
View the documentANNUAL REPORT 1994
View the documentICRC Memorandum on the tragedy in Rwanda
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 11/17 March 1994
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View the documentDECLARATION CONJOINTE
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View the documentRWANDA THE ICRC STAYED ON WHEN OTHERS LEFT
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View the document1995 - ICRC NEWS N° 1/4 January 1995
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View the documentICRC - SPECIAL REPORT - 29 March 1995
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View the documentCommunication to the press No 95/13 22 April 1995
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View the documentFACT SHEET
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View the documentFrom the Annual Press Conference by ICRC President Dr. Cornelio Sommaruga, Geneva, the 30th of May 1995.
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View the documentRwanda: Restoring family ties
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View the documentSTATEMENT OF COLLABORATION
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View the documentICRC News 96/12 - 27 March 1996
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View the documentRwanda, Hemmed in by mines
View the documentICRC News 96/17 - 1 May 1996
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View the documentUpdate No. 96/1 on ICRC activities in Rwanda
View the documentICRC News 30 - 31 July 1996
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View the documentUpdate No. 96/1 on ICRC activities in Zaire
View the documentICRC News 96/43 - 30 October 1996
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View the documentUpdate No. 96/5 on ICRC activities in Zaire
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View the documentICRC News 96/46 - 20 November 1996
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View the documentICRC News 96/47 - 27 November 1996
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View the documentAnnual report 1996
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View the documentICRC News 97/03 - Rwanda
View the documentICRC News 97/03 - Rwanda: refugees return to Kamembe
View the documentUpdate No. 97/01 on ICRC activities in Rwanda
View the documentICRC News 97/04 - 30 January 1997
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View the documentUpdate No. 97/02 on ICRC activities in Rwanda
View the documentUpdate No. 97/03 on ICRC activities related to the Zairian conflict
View the documentICRC News 97/11 - 27 March 1997
View the documentUpdate No. 97/03 on ICRC activities in Rwanda
View the documentExtract from “ICRC photo catalogue: 1996 selection, No 3”
View the documentLandmines in Africa
View the documentICRC News 97/17 - 7 May 1997
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View the documentICRC in Rwanda: An overview of activities
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View the documentICRC News 99/23 - 10 June 1999
View the documentFact Sheet: ICRC in Rwanda
View the documentICRC News 99/42 - 21 October 1999
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View the documentFact sheet: ICRC in Rwanda
View the documentICRC News 00/12 - 6 April 2000

ICRC News 99/23 - 10 June 1999

Rwanda: Five years of separation come to an end

The grandmother could do nothing but throw her arms in the air, as if her emotions had left her speechless. After five years of separation, she had just been reunited with her two grandchildren: Vincent, 12, and Furaha, 13. The children had fled their village in the town of Kanombe, near Kigali, in 1994. By escaping with other adult members of the family to what was, at that time, still Zaire they were able to save their lives, unlike their parents.

The arrival of the two ICRC vehicles caused a crowd to gather. It was quite an event in this remote corner of Kigali Rural and cries of laughter rang out all around. Furaha almost danced for joy as, with a huge smile on her face, she embraced the members of her family. As for Vincent, he was more reserved. He simply shook hands, keeping his eyes fixed on the floor.

For months, the two children had been staying at a centre in Goma, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Like many other youngsters, they had been waiting for the day to come which would bring an end to five years of separation from their family and would allow them to return to their place of birth. Five years of turmoil which had swept the region and seen them lose all contact with their family in exile. Finally, on 3 June, they were transferred from Goma to Kigali by ICRC aircraft.

“The grandmother is overcome with emotion, she doesn’t know how to thank us”, whispered Ibrahim, a Rwandan working for the ICRC Tracing Agency at the Kigali East sub-delegation. After obtaining signatures on a few official documents, the ICRC delegates departed, leaving Vincent, Furaha and the group to their emotional reunion. Other children were waiting in the cars to be taken back to their families. These families, more often than not, consisted of uncles, aunts, brothers and sisters, the parents having been the victims of genocide.

Reuniting unaccompanied children with their families is one of the ICRC’s main activities in Rwanda. More than 110 Rwandan employees are working full time on the project. There are currently some 6,300 children in Rwanda and close to 1,000 more outside the country hoping to rejoin their relatives. Since 1994, around 63,000 children have already been reunited with their next of kin, more than 15,000 of these by the ICRC.