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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
View the documentCOMMUNICATION TO THE PRESS N°13/8 April 1994
View the documentCOMMUNICATION TO THE PRESS N° 15/13 April 1994
View the documentCOMMUNICATION TO THE PRESS N° 16/94/14 April 1994
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 16/21 April 1994
View the documentPRESS RELEASE N° 1772/21 April 1994
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 17/28 April 1994
View the documentCOMMUNICATION TO THE PRESS N° 94/20/3 May 1994
View the documentCOMMUNICATION TO THE PRESS N° 21/4 May 1994
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 18/5 May 1994
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 19/11 May 1994
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 20/18 May 1994
View the documentPRESS RELEASE N° 1776/20 May 1994
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 21/25 May 1994
View the documentPRESS RELEASE N° 1777/26 May 1994
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 22/1 June 1994
View the documentCOMMUNICATION TO THE PRESS N° 94/24/2 June 1994
View the documentCOMMUNICATION TO THE PRESS 94/25/7 June 1994
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 24/15 June 1994
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 25/22 June 1994
View the documentCOMMUNICATION TO THE PRESS N° 94/29/28 June 1994
View the documentDECLARATION CONJOINTE
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 26/29 June 1994
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 27/6 July 1994
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 28/13 July 1994
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 29/20 July 1994
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 30/27 July 1994
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 31/3 August 1994
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 32/10 August 1994
View the documentICRC NEWS 34/24 August 1994
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 35/31 August 1994
View the documentRWANDA THE ICRC STAYED ON WHEN OTHERS LEFT
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 36/7 September 1994
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 37/14 September 1994
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 39/28 September 1994
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 43/26 October 1994
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 49/7 December 1994
View the documentCOMMUNICATION TO THE PRESS n° 94/43/14 December 1994
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 50/15 December 1994
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 52/28 December 1994
View the document1995 - ICRC NEWS N° 1/4 January 1995
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 08/22 January 1995
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 11/15 MARCH 1995
View the documentICRC - SPECIAL REPORT - 29 March 1995
View the documentCommunication to the press No. 95/8 31 March 1995
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 14/April 5, 1995
View the documentCommunication to the press No. 95/11 20 April 1995
View the documentCommunication to the press No 95/13 22 April 1995
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 17/26 April 1995
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 18/4 May 1995
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 19/11 May 1995
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 20/17 May 1995
View the documentFACT SHEET
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 21/24 May 1995
View the documentFrom the Annual Press Conference by ICRC President Dr. Cornelio Sommaruga, Geneva, the 30th of May 1995.
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 24/14 June 1995
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 26/28 JUNE 1995
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 28/12 July 1995
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 34/23 August 1995
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 36/6 September 1995
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 39/27 September 1995
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 44/1 November 1995
View the documentRwanda: Restoring family ties
View the documentICRC NEWS N° 47/23 November 1995
View the documentICRC News 50 - 13 December 1995
View the documentSTATEMENT OF COLLABORATION
View the documentAnnual report 1995
View the documentICRC News 96/2 - 17 January 1996
View the documentRwanda: 1995 Retrospective Newsletter
View the documentRwanda: ICRC Newsletter No. 2
View the documentRwanda: ICRC Newsletter No. 3
View the documentICRC News 96/12 - 27 March 1996
View the documentICRC News 96/14 - 10 April 1996
View the documentRwanda, Hemmed in by mines
View the documentICRC News 96/17 - 1 May 1996
View the documentICRC News 96/17 - 1 May 1996
View the documentICRC News 96/18 - 8 May 1996
View the documentUpdate No. 96/1 on ICRC activities in Rwanda
View the documentICRC News 30 - 31 July 1996
View the documentICRC News 96/34 - 28 August 1996
View the documentFACT SHEET
View the documentUpdate No. 96/1 on ICRC activities in Zaire
View the documentICRC News 96/43 - 30 October 1996
View the documentUpdate No. 96/2 on ICRC activities in Zaire
View the documentUpdate No. 96/3 on ICRC activities in Zaire
View the documentUpdate No. 96/4 on ICRC activities in Zaire
View the documentUpdate No. 96/5 on ICRC activities in Zaire
View the documentUpdate No. 96/6 on ICRC activities in Zaire
View the documentUpdate No. 96/7 on ICRC activities in Zaire
View the documentICRC News 96/46 - 20 November 1996
View the documentUpdate No. 96/8 on ICRC activities related to the Zairian crisis
View the documentUpdate No. 96/9 on ICRC activities related to the Zairian crisis
View the documentICRC News 96/47 - 27 November 1996
View the documentUpdate No. 96/10 on ICRC activities related to the Zairian crisis
View the documentUpdate No. 96/11 on ICRC activities related to the Zairian crisis
View the documentUpdate No. 96/12 on ICRC activities related to the Zairian crisis
View the documentUpdate No. 96/13 on ICRC activities related to the Zairian crisis
View the documentUpdate No. 96/14 on ICRC activities related to the Zairian crisis
View the documentUpdate No. 96/15 on ICRC activities related to the Zairian crisis
View the documentICRC News 96/50 - 18 December 1996
View the documentUpdate No. 96/16 on ICRC activities related to the Zairian crisis
View the documentAnnual report 1996
View the documentUpdate No. 97/01 on ICRC activities related to the Zairian crisis
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
View the documentICRC News 97/05 - 6 February 1997
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
View the documentICRC News 97/20 - 28 May 1997
View the documentICRC News 97/22 - 11 June 1997
View the documentICRC News 97/30 - 7 August 1997
View the documentICRC News 33 - 28 August 1997
View the documentICRC News 34 - 5 September 1997
View the documentICRC News 97/41 - 16 October 1997
View the documentICRC News 97/45 - 13 November 1997
View the documentICRC News 97/46 - 19 November 1997
View the documentICRC News 97/49 - 11 December 1997
View the documentAnnual report 1997
View the documentICRC in Rwanda: An overview of activities
View the documentICRC News 98/25 - 26 June 1998
View the documentICRC News 98/48 - 3 December 1998
View the documentHome again - 11 December 1998
View the documentExtract from “ICRC photo catalogue: 1998, No 5”
View the documentAnnual Report 1998
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
View the documentICRC News 00/01 - 20 January 2000
View the documentFact sheet: ICRC in Rwanda
View the documentICRC News 00/12 - 6 April 2000

FACT SHEET

RWANDA/GREAT LAKES REGION

Unaccompanied children, exchange of family news, detainees

1994-1996: WHERE ARE WE NOW?

Over two years have passed since the events that devastated Rwanda. Families torn apart, not only while fleeing the country but also within Rwanda itself, children left completely alone, countless people detained: today the picture remains as grim as ever, despite the efforts of a number of humanitarian organizations, including the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Since 1994, hundreds of thousands of Rwandans have become separated from one or more members of their families and have lost all contact with them. In the wake of the massacres some 2,000,000 people fled their homes to seek refuge in neighbouring countries; about 1,600,000 are still in Zaire, Tanzania, Burundi and Uganda.

Over 2,200,000 Red Cross messages distributed

In July 1994 the ICRC set up a Red Cross message network, using a sort of letter containing exclusively personal or family news (see Annex), to help people restore links or correspond with relatives from whom they had been separated as a result of the conflict. From several hundred two years ago, the number of Red Cross messages exchanged has now grown to an average of 300,000 messages collected and distributed every month.


INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS


Red Cross messages collected and distributed since 1994

A total of 94,000 unaccompanied children registered

In the spring of 1994, tens of thousands of children became separated from their parents during the massacres and the subsequent exodus of part of the Rwandan population. These children, displaced within Rwanda or swept along with the crowds of refugees arriving in the camps, have gradually been located and registered. Under an agreement concluded in June 1994 between the International Committee of the Red Cross, UNHCR, UNICEF and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the ICRC set up a database to centralize all the information obtained on these children through the joint efforts of the various international and non-governmental organizations participating in this programme.

The data centralized by the ICRC include:

· the particulars of unaccompanied children and their current whereabouts
· the particulars of parents being sought by their children
· the particulars of parents searching for children who have not yet been located by the ICRC or any other organization.

All possible information is gathered in order to try and track down relatives of unaccompanied children (UC), to help them re-establish contact with each other and, as far as possible, to reunite the children with their families.

More than two years after the tragedy, hardly a day passes without more children being discovered who have lost touch with their families. Efforts to obtain data among both children and adults therefore continue unabated.

Considerable logistic resources were - and still are - essential to run this “postal service” for people wanting to re-establish contact with a family member, to find out whether or not a person is still alive, to announce changes of address or events in their private lives and so forth.

Today there are about 20 Red Cross message collection and distribution points inside Rwanda and 60 in neighbouring countries, mostly located in the refugee camps (only some of them appear in the map below). The network is run by hundreds of ICRC staff, with the active cooperation of some 30 National Red Cross and Red Crescent tracing services worldwide.


Figure

Red Cross messages are used by civilians, including unaccompanied children and their families, and by detainees. They circulate all over Rwanda and in neighbouring countries, and also between the Great Lakes region and more distant countries in Africa, North America, and Europe in particular.


Unaccompanied children (UC) registered per year

The overall number of registered unaccompanied children continues to grow - though less rapidly than in 1994 and 1995, as all the particulars of children found in the region since June 1994 have been systematically recorded.

Parents looking for their children continue to apply to the ICRC and to other humanitarian organizations in the field. When the database contains no information as to a missing child’s whereabouts, the parents are asked to fill out a tracing request; the details given are then entered in the database and used to search for the child.

Nearly 23,000 unaccompanied children reunited with their families in the Great Lakes region

Since the start of the programme in June 1994, the number of requests for family reunification has risen steadily, as more children are registered and more parents located. The various organizations involved have made considerable efforts and have already succeeded in reuniting over 22,600 children with their parents. The ICRC itself has handled nearly 4,100 of these family reunifications.

Since the spring of 1996, however, the task has been complicated by hazardous security conditions in the region, particularly the Kivu area, the western districts of Rwanda and northern Burundi. Mines, clashes between armed bands and instability in the camps have temporarily prevented many family reunifications from taking place.


Figure

A great deal of work remains to be done for the many unaccompanied children registered in the region. According to the information in the ICRC database, 44,400 children still have no news of their families to date.


Figure

The search continues

A large-scale programme to restore family links was set up in June 1995 and introduced in Rwanda in December of that year. Generally known in the field as “active tracing” or “mass tracing”, it involves a systematic search for the parents of unaccompanied children in their communes of origin, using regularly updated lists from the ICRC database. Several organizations, particularly Save the Children Fund (UK), are engaged in this search, which has already covered almost all the communes in Rwanda and various refugee camps in Tanzania and Zaire.

Every month more than 1,000 parents of unaccompanied children are being located in this way. Any changes in the situation of registered children (family reunifications without any humanitarian organization being involved, changes of address, deaths etc.) are recorded in the process, and the database is continuously updated to facilitate tracing efforts.

Under a programme conducted in cooperation with UNICEF, 12,000 unaccompanied children were photographed in the refugee camps around Goma, in Zaire, during 1995. These photos are now being used in the region to try and trace the children’s families, and a similar project has also started in Ngara, Tanzania. Although at this stage the results are difficult to evaluate, the ICRC believes that photos may serve as a useful complement to other tracing methods, especially where children under the age of five are concerned.


Detainees visited by the ICRC in 260 places of detention

Monitoring the situation of persons arrested in Rwanda after the 1994 genocide is one of the ICRC’s main activities in the region. To help ensure that detainees are afforded the physical and mental protection to which they are entitled, ICRC delegates regularly visit people held in 260 places of detention in the country. The ICRC also makes representations to the detaining authorities and carries out large-scale assistance programmes in an effort to guarantee respect for the detainees’ dignity and physical integrity.

At present 80,000 detainees are regularly visited in their places of detention. All the information collected in the course of the visits is fed into the ICRC database (94,000 detainees registered, about 14,000 of whom are no longer in the detention circuit today).

The large number of detainees, their frequent transfer from one detention facility to another, arrests and releases make it necessary to conduct regular censuses of the detainee population in order to try and ensure that there are no gaps in the follow-up process. The data thus collected are entered in the database and are available at all the ICRC’s offices in Rwanda, and in Bukavu and Goma in Zaire, so that the staff working there can reassure families about the fate of their detained relatives. Red Cross messages enable detainees and their families to re-establish contact and keep in touch with each other.

Nearly 340,000 identities in the ICRC database

To carry out all the above tasks, the ICRC employs about 100 expatriates and close to 1,000 local staff in the field. Its database, which can be accessed at about 15 offices in Rwanda, Zaire, Tanzania and Burundi, holds the following information:


Figure

The ICRC database now contains 316 megabytes of information. Data input is handled in Nairobi by 75 local staff using a network of 55 personal computers.

3. IBARIRIZA
MESSAGE

(Amakuru yerekeye umuntu ku giti cye cyangwa arena umuryango gusa)
(Nouvelles de caract familial et/ou personnel)
(Family and/or private news only)

4. ITALIKI
DATE................................................

UMUKONO/IGIKUMWE
SIGNATURE.................

Icyo dupfana n’uwohererejwe
Le destinataire est mon/ma ....................................................................................................
The addressee is my

IBARIRIZA UMURYANGO UTABARA IMBABARE/IGISUBIZO MESSAGE CROIX-ROUGE/REPONSE RED CROSS MESSAGE/REPLY

5. UWOHEREJE/EXPEDITEUR/SENDER

AMAZINA YOMBI (nkuko bigirwa mu gihugu)/NOM COMPLET (selon l’usage local)/FULL NAME (as expressed) locally):
................................................................................................................................................

ITALIKI Y’IVUKA

IGITSINA

GABO

GORE

DATE DE NAISSANCE:.....................................................

Sexe

M


F


DATE OF BIRTH

Sex

M

F

IZINA RYA SO/NOM DU PERE/FATHER’S NAME:...............................................................

IZINA RYA NVOKO/NOM DE LA MERE/MOTHER’S NAME:................................................

KOMINI YAWE MBERE Y’UKWEZI KWA CUMI 90
COMMUNE D’HABITATION AVANT OCT.90: .........................................................................
COMMUNE OF RESIDENCE BEFORE OCT.90

Segiteri/Secteur/Sector:......................... Serire/Cellule/Unit:..................................................

AHO UBARIZWA MULI IKI GIHE/ADRESSE ACTUELLE COMPLETE/FULL PRESENT ADDRESS:
...............................................................................................................................................
______________________________________________________________________________

6. UWOHEREREJWE/DESTINATAIRE/ADDRESSEE

AMAZINA YOMBI (nkuko bigirwa mu gihugu)/NOM COMPLET (selon l’usage local)/FULL NAME (as expresed locally):
..................................................................................................................................

ITALIKI Y’IVUKA

IGITSINA

GABO

GORE

DATE DE NAISSANCE:.........................................................

Sexe

M


F


DATE OF BIRTH

Sex

M

F

IZINA RYA SO/NOM DU PERE/FATHER’S NAME:...............................................................

IZINA RYA NVOKO/NOM DE LA MERE/MOTHER’S NAME:................................................

KOMINI YAWE MBERE Y’UKWEZI KWA CUMI 90
COMMUNE D’HABITATION AVANT OCT.90: .........................................................................
COMMUNE OF RESIDENCE BEFORE OCT.90

Segiteri/Secteur/Sector:......................... Serire/Cellule/Unit:..................................................

AHO UBARIZWA MULI IKI GIHE/ADRESSE ACTUELLE COMPLETE/FULL PRESENT ADDRESS:
................................................................................................................................................
_______________________________________________________________________________

KOMITE Y’UMURYANGO UTABARA IMBABARE KW’ISI
COMITE INTERNATIONAL DE LA CROIX-ROUGE
INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS
19, avenue de la Paix - CH-1202 GENEVA