I Know the Consequences of War: Understanding the dynamics of displacement in Burundi


Published: 7 Dec 2016

(7 December 2016) Today, the International Refugee Rights Initiative launched a new report, “I Know the Consequences of War: Understanding the dynamics of displacement in Burundi”. The report brings much needed insight as to how Burundians are deciding to flee or stay in a context in which more than 300,000 are already in exile. The report has not only direct bearing on the potential to resolve displacement in and from Burundi, but also enables the international community to gain a better understanding of the causes of exile that can be applied in other contexts.

Based on 117 interviews with those who have fled to Tanzania, those who fled and have returned, those displaced internally and those who stayed put, one of the key findings was that individuals’ previous experiences had influenced their assessment of risk. For many, their previous experience of conflict was an incentive to flee early, before the situation reached its worst “I had seen such things since my childhood, so how could I wait? I know the consequences of war.” For others, painful memories of previous rounds of displacement influenced their decision to stay “[t]hey would rather opt for suicide or death on the spot rather than returning into exile.”

Programmes: Causes of Displacement, Citizenship and forced migration in the Great Lakes Region, Rights in Exile, Responsibility to Protect
Regions: Great Lakes Region, Burundi, Tanzania
Type: Library, Paper