31 December 2013 |

Burundi: Internal displacement in brief

As of December 2013


No new displacements were reported in Burundi during 2013, despite tensions ahead of elections in 2015. As of the end of the year, there were 78,900 people living in protracted displacement. The figure is based on a nationwide profiling exercise of IDPs carried out in 2011. Most fled their homes during the 1993 to 2005 civil war.

Most of Burundi’s remaining IDPs are Tutsis located in around 120 settlements in northern and central parts of the country, and they continue to face challenges in accessing social and economic resources. Around 33,300 refugees returned from neighbouring countries in 2013, putting further pressure on scarce resources.

Some progress was made towards durable solutions during the year, but mainly on paper. The government agreed to conduct provincial assessments on local integration and relocation, and to run a pilot return project with its national and international partners.

The 2011 profiling exercise revealed that 85 per cent of IDPs wanted to integrate locally, but surveys conducted at six sites in 2013 showed that 54 per cent were candidates for return. They said they were motivated by improved security in their home areas and difficult living conditions in their places of refuge. The survey also showed that 27 per cent of IDPs were affected by land issues including poor tenure security and ensuing disputes and conflicts over land and property. At the end of 2013, the National Commission for Land and Other Possession increasingly favoured repatriated refugees over IDPs and local residents when adjudicating land disputes.

Burundi has ratified the Great Lakes Pact. It also signed the Kampala Convention in 2009, but is still to ratify it.