Today, the International Refugee Rights Initiative and the Refugee Law Project launched a new report, "A Dangerous Impasse: Rwandan Refugees in Uganda". The paper examines why refugees living in Uganda's Nakivale settlement are refusing to return to Rwanda despite considerable push factors. Based on 102 interviews with Rwandan refugees, UN and government officials, the findings make it clear that there are legitimate reasons for the refugees' stance. To the extent that refugee groups can act as a barometer of the situation at home, the findings are a serious indictment of the current Rwandan government. Refugees view the government as repressive, and dissent in many aspects of life is not tolerated. Those who question the regime are subjected to human rights violations that include discrimination in employment, imprisonment and forced disappearance. As a result, refugees are not only reluctant to return home, they are afraid.
Read the press release.
In a research published titled “Who Belongs Where? Conflict, Displacement, Land and Identity in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo” by the International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI) in partnership with the New York-based Social Science Research Council (SSRC), views of the ongoing conflict in the east of the country are presented from the perspective of those displaced by it – both refugees and internally displaced.
This paper is the third in the series Citizenship and Displacement in the Great Lakes region. The previous two papers may be found in the 2008 and 2009 archives.
Based on 157 qualitative interviews conducted in North Kivu and western Uganda, the paper explores the interaction between identity, access to power and, in turn, access to resources – including land.
The findings show that the conflict is seen as having been imported from Rwanda in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide: it is a conflict from “out there” that is now being fought on Congolese soil.
Read the press release here.