Terre et exil: Revisiter le cas des réfugiés burundais en Tanzanie

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  • Amelia Kuch, Edinburgh University

In 2007, the Government of Tanzania and the Government of Burundi in partnership with the UNHCR adopted the Tanzania Comprehensive Solutions Strategy (TANCOSS). TANCOSS offered a choice between repatriation and naturalization to 220,000 Burundian refugees who had been living in three rural settlements in Western Tanzania (Ulyankulu, Katumba and Mishamo) since 1972. It was an unprecedented intervention and it garnered international attention and support (Milner 2014). Initially, obtaining citizenship was meant to be conditional on relocation away from the refugee settlements. This plan, however, was renounced, and ultimately those who opted for citizenship were permitted to remain on the land of the settlements. Following naturalization, new citizens’ relationship with the land they occupy in Tanzania has changed–both in legal and symbolic terms. This article explores how former Burundian refugees were able to access land in exile and how, following naturalization, they seek recognition of their land rights. In the existing literature, scholars have highlighted the prominence of discourses of autochthony in the ways that both citizenship and land rights have come to be defined and asserted in contexts of migration. There is a risk that this emphasis hides other instances, in which autochthony is not the dominant trope through which citizenship or land rights are claimed, as this article demonstrates in the case of Burundian refugees in Tanzania.

Translated title of the contributionLand and exile: revisiting the case of Burundian refugees in Tanzania
Original languageFrench
JournalCritical African Studies
Pages (from-to)108-125
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2018

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