PROTECTION OF REFUGEES AND IDPS’ RIGHTS: A CASE STUDY OF POST-CONFLICT BURUNDI
Keywords:refugees, internally displaced persons, human rights violations, protection of refugees
The number of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Burundi have escalated due to on-going human rights violations. This article interrogates the protection of refugees and IDPs’ rights in post-conflict Burundi. It seeks to trace the root causes of Burundi’s sullied human-rights record over 53 years since independence from Belgium in 1962. The post-conflict government has not succeeded in establishing accountability for these violations and reparations to the victims who are refugees and IDPs and in putting to an end impunity which seems to be entrenched in Burundian society. The article critically analyses the results from interviewing 113 Burundians and non-Burundians and argues that there will be no political stability enduring peace and solution to refugee and the IDPs problem without addressing human-rights issues in a comprehensive manner. This article considers the application of “Ceased Circumstances Clauses” under the 1951 UN and OAU Refugee Conventions from the perspective of the South African and Tanzanian refugee laws, policies and case law. Particular attention is given to the tests and criteria that can be met before these clauses may be properly implemented. It proposes the model that can be designed in cessation of refugee status to ensure the protection of refugee rights as required by international law.
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