Reluctant to return? The primacy of social networks in the repatriation of Rwandan refugees in Uganda
Two decades after the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, tens of thousands of refugees remain in exile in Uganda. Since October 2002, the governments of Rwanda and Uganda, and UNHCR have been playing an active role in promoting the voluntary repatriation of Rwandan refugees. However, despite these attempts to return the post-genocide Rwandan refugees to their ‘homeland’, considerable numbers are reluctant to return. This paper critically analyses the role of social networks in the repatriation of Rwandan refugees with a focus on those living in Nakivale and Oruchinga settlements in south-western Uganda. The paper also highlights the influence of information networks in the repatriation process and how the information communicated by these networks about the country of origin affects repatriation decision-making.