Since a peace agreement was signed in 2003, officially ending a decade of war in the country, an estimated two million civilians have died and millions of others have been forced to flee their homes, creating one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters. This paper seeks to tease apart some of the dimensions of this violence through gaining an understanding of how people living in the midst of it – or having fled the midst of it – see the conflict.

Based on 157 interviews conducted in June and July 2009 with refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) who were displaced from or within North Kivu, it explores the interaction between notions of identity, access to power and, in turn, access to natural resources, including land. Through understanding people’s perceptions of the causes of conflict it begins to explore potential routes to stability and the way in which refugees and IDPs are positioning themselves for return.


Publication Details

Who Belongs Where?
Hovil, Lucy
International Refugee Rights Initiative
Publish Date
2010. March.
Hovil, Lucy, Who Belongs Where? (International Refugee Rights Initiative, 2010. March.).