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Title: Displacement, identity and conflict in the African Great Lakes
Author: Perera, Sudakshini Marini
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis offers a new approach to understanding, and dealing with, the Rwandan Hutu refugee warrior groups who operate in the Kivu provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Through an integrated analysis of local Kivutian and national Congolese conflict dynamics, I examine the structures of violence within which Rwandan Hutu refugee warriors operate, and demonstrate how Rwandan Hutu refugees in the Kivus are foHowing in the footsteps of other refugee warrior groups in the region. These much-maligned and marg inalized Rwanda Hutu groups have faced nearly two decades of existential threats. Yet, despite extensive operations to remove them from the Kivus, they have managed to evade capture, remain in the Congo, and pursue belligerent activities there. I argue that the failure to reduce the threat of Rwandan Hutu refugee warrior groups can be attributed to a dearth of understanding about their strategies and motivations. In this thesis, I suggest a way of shedding light on significant aspects of refugee warriors' operational strategies by analyzing their refugee experience, and the subsequent impact this has on their identity and security decisions. I offer a theoretical framework for ana lysing refugee identity and apply it to the Rwandan Hutu refugee warrio rs operating in the Kivus. From this ana lysis, I suggest the need for a new strategy when it comes to dealing with the threat that Rwandan Hutus pose to the security of both Rwanda and the Congo, and advocate an approach which is more empathetic to the security concerns of Rwandan Hutus in exile. It is hope that transforming Rwandan Hutu militants from refugee warriors into legitimate political actors in both the Congo and Rwanda will provide a durable solution to the threat that they pose, and that this will have knock~on effects which reduce the overall militarization of the eastern Congo. llL ____
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available