Citizenship and land: a potent relationship


Published: 14 Dec 2009
Source: African Arguments

Recent research in Burundi on the repatriation of refugees has highlighted the strong link between land and citizenship. The research (“Two People Can’t Share the Same Pair of Shoes: Citizenship, Land and the Return of Refugees to Burundi“) tracked the experience of refugees returning to southern Burundi and (re)claiming their citizenship. Most had been living in exile in Tanzania – some since the early 1990s, and others since 1972. Some were born in exile and had never been to Burundi before. Others left when they were children. But all of them had a strong notion that returning to Burundi signified an end to exile and an opportunity to finally become citizens of their homeland. And the measure of that renewed bond between citizen and state was their ability to recover land.

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Programmes: Citizenship and forced migration in the Great Lakes Region
Regions: Great Lakes Region, Burundi, Tanzania
Type: Staff Publication