Handbook on Human Security, Borders and Migration
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Handbook on Human Security, Borders and Migration

Edited by Natalia Ribas-Mateos and Timothy J. Dunn

Drawing on the concept of the ‘politics of compassion’, this Handbook interrogates the political, geopolitical, social and anthropological processes which produce and govern borders and give rise to contemporary border violence.
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Chapter 19: Borders and violence in Burundi: regional responses, global responsibilities

Niamh Gaynor


Gaynortakesusto Burundi (ranking as one of the poorest country in the world), situated within the volatile Great Lakes region of Africa, the country has suffered decades of violence, displacement and re-displacement. As violence and insecurity continues, most notably following a third term bid in 2015 by the country’s President, an estimated 400,000-500,000 have been re-displaced, mostly across regional borders into neighbouring Tanzania, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda. This chapter examines the reasons for this, moving. Exploring the complex root causes of violence and instability, it moves beyond simplistic internal ethnic explanations and highlights the role of the global political economy in fomenting and sustaining insecurity, both within the country and on its borders. The chapter goes on to examine regional responses and policies to the ensuing displacement. Noting that the country continues to receive both the lowest level of international funding for refugees and relatively low levels of international aid (UNDP, 2019), it makes the case for a globalised politics of compassion and responsibility in responding to and tackling the globalised root causes of structural violence in this border region. Thus, she gives an empirical account of the notion of a “globalized politics of responsibility” as key concept for the handbook.

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