Burundi: Secure tenure and land access still challenges for long-term IDPs
Kigoma IDP settlement, Karuzi Province (June 2010, IDMC/Greta Zeender)
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31 December 2012
As of the end of 2012, about 78,800 IDPs were living in around 120 settlements, mainly in northern and central Burundi. The majority were ethnic Tutsis displaced by inter-communal violence following the 1993 coup and the ensuing fighting between government forces and non-state armed groups. There has been no new displacement since 2008.
In 2011, the Ministry of National Solidarity, Refugee Return and Social Reintegration led a profiling exercise of IDPs, intended to inform government support for durable solutions. The survey found that 85 per cent wished to integrate locally, fewer than eight per cent preferred the option of return and a similar percentage preferred settlement elsewhere.
The ownership of much of the land on which IDPs’ settlements were established is disputed, however, and tenure risks are an obstacle to local integration. The government established the National Commission for Land and Other Possessions (Commission Nationale des Terres et autres Biens or CNTB) to find solutions for people who lost land and possessions during the conflict, and it continues to adjudicate on conflicting claims. Progress, however, has been slow and complicated, and to what extent local integration can become a durable solution remains to be seen.
A comprehensive land code enacted in August 2011 should help IDPs identify and certify their land, and a national “villagisation” scheme that began in 2011 was also considered an opportunity to facilitate durable solutions for some IDPs and repatriated refugees. Neither process has progressed as planned, however, and few IDPs have benefited as a result.
Burundi has ratified the Great Lake Pact and it signed the Kampala Convention in 2009. The process of ratifying the convention is still ongoing, and with considerable numbers of refugees returning from Tanzania over the end of the year, there is an opportunity to renew national efforts towards durable solutions for IDPs and repatriated refugees alike.
30 April 2009: IDPs and returnees displaced again by heavy rains
Some 3,000 IDPs and returnees had to leave
a site at Sabe, close to the capital Bujumbura, as weeks of heavy rains flooded or swept away their makeshift homes. The lack of sanitation facilities aggravated the situation, with rubbish and faeces floating in the stagnant water, and some residents reported waterborne diseases such as diarrhoea and roundworms. The Ministry of National Solidarity, the Evangelist Church and the World Food Programme have distributed relief, but residents described it as inadequate and requested assistance to move to a safer site. The Ministry of National Solidarity said the ministry was planning to move the Sabe residents “soon” to a safer site, but did not give a date. Prior to the flooding, UNHCR indicated
that it had no knowledge of the Sabe site residents as a group in need of international humanitarian aid. Most of the residents have settled there for years, and the international agency normally only assists those who have just returned, notably with housing, land and early subsistence money.
Up to 100,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) were living in mid-2011 in settlements in the north and centre of Burundi. They had been displaced by inter-ethnic and inter-communal violence which broke out after a 1993 coup d’état and the ﬁghting between government forces and rebel groups which followed.
The security situation improved after the last rebel group laid down its arms in 2008, and there has been no new conflict-induced displacement since then. The majority of people consulted in a comprehensive IDP survey by OCHA in 2005 declared that they felt well integrated into their current location and comfortable among their new neighbours, and expressed a wish to remain in the IDP settlements. While all IDP settlements in the south have officially been closed since 2005, few IDPs in the north and centre of the country are thought to have returned to their places of origin. The majority of them are ethnic Tutsi. (...)
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18 August 2011
||Secure tenure and land access still challenges for long-term IDPs (18 August 2011) HTML | PDF
||La sécurité d’occupation et l’accès à la terre restent des défis pour les personnes en situation de déplacement prolongé (18 août 2011) HTML | PDF
Internal Displacement Profile
"Résumé du Profil en Français","Résumé du Profil en Français"
"Causes and Background ","Background","Causes of displacement"
"IDP Population Figures","Number of IDPs","disaggregated by age and sex where data are available","Location(s) of IDP populations"
"Population Movement","Population movements (displacement","return and/or (re)settlement as relevant)","Patterns of movement (displacement","return and (re)settlement as relevant)"
"Physical Security and Integrity","Physical security","dignity","mental and moral integrity","Liberty and Freedom of Movement"
"Basic Necessities of Life","General","Food and Water","Shelter and Housing","Medical care and sanitation"
"Property, Livelihoods, Education and Other Economic, Social and Cultural Rights","Land","Education","Work and livelihood opportunities and coping strategies "
"Family Life, Participation, Access to Justice, Documentation, and Other Civil and Political Rights","Family life","Documentation and Citizenship","Voting and participation in public affairs ","Right to information and participation","including women","Access to Justice"
"Protection of Special Categories of IDPs (Age, Gender, Diversity)","Gender","Boys","girls and adolescents ","Indigenous peoples","minorities","peasants","pastoralists and other groups with a special dependency on and attachment to their lands "
"Durable Solutions","Documented returns","settled locally and settled elsewhere","Prospects for and obstacles to voluntary return","local settlement and settlement elsewhere","Support for return integration and reintegration"
"National and International Responses","International human rights and humanitarian law framework including references to the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement","National response","International Response"
Previous Profile updates
- Key Documents
- Rapport du Secrétaire général sur le Bureau des Nations Unies au Burundi (S/2011/751), United Nations Security Council (UN SC), 8 December 2011
- Atelier de réflexion sur les solutions durables pour des personnes déplacées internes, IDMC/CNTB, December 2011
- Loi n°1/13 du 9 août 2011 portant révision du code foncier du Burundi, République du Burundi, Cabinet du Président, 9 August 2011
- Étude de profilage des personnes déplacées internes (PDI) vivant sur les sites, Government of Burundi: Ministry of National Solidarity, Refugee Return and Social Reintegration, August 2011
- “Securing the right to stay: local integration of IDPs in Burundi”, in Resolving Internal Displacement: Prospects for Local Integration, pp.24-40, Brookings - LSE Project on Internal Displacement and IDMC, June 2011
- Vision Burundi 2025, Synthesis, Government of Burundi, Ministry of Planning and Communal Development/Forecasting Unit UNDP in Burundi, June 2011
- Loi n°1/01 du 4 janvier 2011 portant révision de la loi n°1/17 du 4 septembre 2009 portant missions, composition, organisation et fonctionnement de la Commission Nationale des Terres et autres Biens, République du Burundi, Cabinet du Président, 4 January 2011
- Profil d'opérations 2011, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 2011
- Stratégie nationale de réintégration socio-économique des personnes affectées par le conflit, Ministère de la Solidarité Nationale, du Rapatriement des Réfugiés et de la Réintégration Sociale, March 2010
- Evaluation des sites de IDP, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 2008
- Enquête sur les populations déplacées au Burundi 2005, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), 26 May 2005
Burundi: Bataille de terre
Toujours plus de paysans, mais de moins en moins de terres à partager. Au Burundi, la pression démographique est une bombe à retardement. La terre est de plus en plus convoitée, et les conflits entre voisins se multiplient. Ces disputes pour la terre fragilisent la récente réconciliation nationale.