The dramatic increase in the number of refugees globally has led to increased attention to conflicts between refugees and communities in the countries where they have sought refuge. Three durable solutions are used for the placement of refugees: voluntary repatriation to their home country if conditions there permit; permanent settlement and local integration in the receiving country; and resettlement in a third country. Permanent settlement and local integration is seen as good option although there still exists gaps in understanding the integration process and if it leads to peaceful co-existence between refugees and members of the host community. This study therefore set out to hepl fill this information gap The study employed descriptive analysis on cross-sectional data collected from 328 refugees respondents in Kiryandongo refugee settlement in Uganda. The legal integration process was generally not strong: many respondents still felt they were not legally integrated though they were optimistic about full legal integration in the future. The socio-cultural integration process was more successful. A large majority of refugee respondents in Kiryandongo interact with members of the host community and some are involved in joint projects and partnerships, such as businesses, with them. A large majority of refugees do not wish to be separate from the host community and want to settle in Uganda and have learned the local language; a majority want to bring their families to Uganda, and want good relations with the local host community, all positive indicators of behavioral and attitudinal socio-cultural integration and the development of social connection. A large majority of refugee respondents also believe that their interactions with members of the host community have not led to tensions but rather have contributed to peaceful co-existence with them. Refugee respondents also made suggestions for promoting peaceful co-existence. The study concludes with the recommendation of increasing opportunities for refugees and host community members to interact positively and develop relationships through educational and cultural events, and to develop partnerships/collaborative projects, especially in the use of resources such as water, and the generation of resources by such means as collaboration on business and economic ventures.
Nambuya, Sharon Sylvia; Okumu, Joseph; and Pagnucco, Ronald
"Refugee Socio-Cultural Integration and Peaceful Co-Existence in Uganda,"
The Journal of Social Encounters:
Available at: https://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/social_encounters/vol2/iss1/7