Many thousands of people have been temporarily displaced in recent months by fighting between the Burundian government and two armed Hutu rebel groups. Up to 100,000 people are being displaced each month in worst affected areas, many of them moving from hilltop to hilltop in search of safety. Temporarily displaced people, most of them women and children, are among the most vulnerable people in Burundi.
As fierce fighting in Burundi has surged in recent months in defiance of the December 2002 ceasefire agreements, civilians are once again suffering displacement, death and disease. The smooth handover of power to a Hutu president, Domitien Ndayizeye, by his Tutsi predecessor Pierre Buyoya on 1 May 2003, has also failed to halt the conflict that has killed an estimated 300,000 people since its outbreak in 1993.