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Burundi's displaced people - Photos by Cedric Luypaerts

Wedged between Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Rwanda, Burundi occupies a high plateau divided by several deep valleys, being Africa’s least urbanized country.

Ethnic tensions which characterized the political conflict of Burundi for nearly two decades have caused population displacements of various scales both within and outside the country. These displacement sites are places where persons or groups of persons are re-settled temporarily or permanently in order to be protected against violence or disasters.

The security situation in Burundi improved substantially after the last rebel group in the country laid down its arms at the end of 2008. However, up to 100,000 people remained displaced as of the end of October 2009 in some 100 sites in central and northern Burundi, according to the International Displacement Monitoring Centre. This estimate is based on the last comprehensive Internally Displaced Person (IDP) survey undertaken by the UN in 2005, which found that some 117,000 IDPs lived in settlements, many of which had grown into villages. This number did not take into account people living with host families, particularly in urban centres and in Bujumbura Rural and Bubanza Provinces. In May 2009 the Burundian Ministry of National Solidarity released a report citing a figure of over 150,000 IDPs, but the report was rejected by local officials as methodologically flawed.

Most of these people, displaced in the 1990s or early 2000s following inter-ethnic violence and fighting between the government and rebel groups, have integrated in the neighbouring towns and villages they fled to, and the majority reportedly wish to remain in these sites.

“I started my reportages in 2007 while I was volunteering with an NGO in a village for displaced people (”village de la SAB") in Bujumbura. Two consecutive trips in 2008 and 2009 allowed me to continue this photographic project (which is still work in progress)." (Cedric Luypaerts)

The photographs represent a cross-section of Cédric Luypaerts’ work between 2007 and 2009 in the Burundian village for displaced persons.

See them here: http://www.photography-news.com/2010/02/burundis-displaced-people-photos-by.html

by Diana Topan at 2010-02-04 22:41:23 UTC | Bookmark | | Report spam→


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Diana Topan, Executive Editor Diana Topan
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