Less than two weeks after the announced closure of Tanzania’s last refugee camp for Burundians, the Centre for the Study of Forced Migration and the International Refugee Rights Initiative launched a report, “‘I Don’t Know Where to Go’: Burundian Refugees in Tanzania Under Pressure to Leave”. The paper, based on a two-week mission conducted in Tanzania in August 2009 and building on previous research (“Going Home or Staying Home? Ending Displacement for Burundian Refugees in Tanzania”), outlines serious concerns regarding the protection of refugees in the country: once the camp is closed, approximately 30,000 refugees will be effectively homeless. Pressure to repatriate combined with a clear reticence on the part of refugees to return, calls into question the voluntary nature of the exercise. Meanwhile the outcome of a special scheme to offer naturalisation to a specific group of Burundian refugees – those who fled in 1972 – remains unclear. Therefore the paper seeks to address two questions: why are refugees reluctant to return? And how can a fair policy be constructed which balances legitimate concerns of the Tanzanian government with the needs of Burundi’s transition and applicable human rights frameworks?

Publication Details

I Don’t Know Where to Go
Hovil, Lucy
Publish Date
2009. September.
Hovil, Lucy, I Don't Know Where to Go (, 2009. September.).