Caritas Burundi President visits Burundian refugees in Rwanda

Bishop Joachim Ntahondereye addresses the Burundian refugees in Rwanda.

On behalf of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Burundi, a delegation led by the President of Caritas Burundi, Bishop Joachim Ntahondereye, travelled to Eastern Rwanda on 21 September 2015 to visit Mahama, the camp of Burundian refugees. Bishop Joachim is the Bishop of the diocese of Muyinga where most of the refugees come from. He said he was visiting them:

  • to testify to refugees the love and concern of the Catholic Bishops of Burundi;
  • to carry out his own duty to go and look for his sheep;
  • to tell them that even in the situation where they are refugees, they keep their dignity as son of God; and
  • to tell the refugees that he has come to them in the awareness that everything must be done to create the conditions necessary for the free and voluntary repatriation of all refugees.

While specifying the fact that the hierarchy of the Catholic Church never ceased to contribute, by showing the way that she believes to be the best to build and safeguard peace in the country, the Bishop-President of Caritas Burundi challenged anyone of goodwill to help the Burundian refugees in the various camps. He appealed to Burundi themselves and especially to leaders and politicians to work for peace and prepare conditions for these refugees upon their return. He also pleaded for international so that refugees may return to their homeland.