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Congo's government will not end Rwandan refugees' status immediately

The government of Congo says it will not immediately apply a cessation clause ending refugee status for more than 120,000 Rwandans who fled to Congo after that country's 1994 Rwandan genocide, and are still there.

The Congolese Interior Minister Richard Muyej said Saturday Rwanda had proposed an abrupt cessation of the refugees' status from June 30 but has now accepted Congo's arguments in favor of a more gradual approach.

Muyej said he met with Rwandan counterparts and the U.N. refugee agency in the Rwandan capital and they had agreed on the next steps to resolve the refugee issue. They plan to meet again in October to assess progress.

The Rwandan government has said that since peace has returned to the country, its citizens no longer need to live in exile.