For this second part of our final #SlowNews podcast on migration and refugees, my colleague Juliette and I look at the Burundian crisis and the refugee situation in the Great Lakes region due to it.

Through the voice of two Burundian refugees and the expertise of humanitarian workers and researchers, we give an overview of the highly underreported political and humanitarian crisis in this East African country which lead to huge migration movements: Since 2015, nearly 400,000 people have been fleeing to the neighboring countries, mainly Tanzania and Rwanda, or continued to Uganda.

How is the situation for a Burundian refugee in these countries? How do the receiving countries and humanitarian organizations handle the arrival of hundres of thousands refugees again? Is there any hope for the Burundian refugees to go back to their home country?

Tune in for answers and learn about this “forgotten case”, Burundi.

Our thanks go to our onterview partners (in order of appearance):

– Arsène Arakaza: former chairperson of the Burundian refugee community in Uganda;

– Joe-Philbert Karangwa (Twitter): Burundian journalist in Rwandan exile;

– Eugene Sibomana (Twitter): humanitarian professional working with Burundian refugees in Rwanda;

– Lucy Hovil (Twitter): senior research associate for the International Refugee Rights Initiative.

Media & reading recommendations:

Radio Peace FM (Twitter): refugee radio for Burundians in Rwanda; founder: Joe-Philbert Karangwa;

Journal Plume du Réfugié: refugee newspaper for Burundians in Uganda; founder: Arsène Arakaza;

Iwacu: independent Burundian press agency; reporting in Kirundi, French & English; 

– Lucy Hovil & Thijs Van Laer (2019). “The trouble with plans to send 116,000 Burundian refugees home,” in The New Humanitarian.

With the kind authorization of the producer, we used original Burundian drummers’ music from this video.


Post Author: louisa

You may also like

External blog: Shutdown! – Shut up? – Shot down?!

Analysing information vacuums as power tactics in conflict and war: As part of a university assignment, I sobserved the power tactic and increasing trend of internet shutdowns on the African continent. On my external blog ‘Shutdown! – Shut up? – Shot down?!’ I provide background information, theoretical approaches to the topic, in-depth analyses, insights into case studies, interviews with people who have lived through internet blackouts, and further reading recommendations. Read here the final conclusions and go check out the original blog (!


MPM: (Dis)connected? From Genocide to the ‘New Rwanda’

A look at post-genocide Rwanda and at how trauma can cross borders and generations.


MPM: Journalists in the North-Kivu

Balancing peace activism, professional standards and survival as journalists in the North-Kivu, DR Congo.



Me on Twitter