Local integration as a durable solution for protracted refugees in Uganda: A case study of the Lumumbist Congolese Refugees at Kyaka 2 Refugee settlement
Rweyunga, Charles Celestin Bafaki
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The key concern of this dissertation was to investigate why some refugees technically termed as protracted refugee caseloads in Uganda continue to live as such for many years without getting durable solutions to their plight. It focused on local integration as this is one of the possible durable solution alternatives and explored how the policy and legal framework in Uganda supports durable solutions specifically, local integration of refugees. The study found that, both the policy and legal framework in Uganda do not support realization of local integration as a durable solution to the refugee problem. The government Department responsible for managing refugee affairs in the country does not have a documented policy on refugee management. This situation has resulted into a lot of confusion and distortion regarding the way refugee matters are handled by various stakeholders. Further still, the current refugee law namely the Refugee Act 2006 does not provide for local integration as one of the three key durable solutions to the refugee problem. This is not in tandem with the 1951 Convention which provides for local integration as a durable solution under Article 34. The dissertation seeks to explore ways through which local integration as an alternative durable solution has been availed to protracted refugees by government in Uganda. This is in view of Article 34 of the Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees where host countries where refugees are not able to go home are provided an alternative to local integrate them and offer them citizenship. While host countries spend a lot of resources promoting voluntary repatriation, a number of refugee managers lose sight of the fact that return being voluntary should alert them to a situation where return may not be possible and hence need to explore other alternative durable solutions. This research tries to bring to the fore local integration as an optional durable solution to challenges faces by those refugees who for a long time are not able to return to their home countries.