An investigation of factors that cause conflict between refugees and the host communities in Lusaka district.

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Mwansa, Elizabeth
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The University of Zambia
Zambia has been hosting refugees immediately after attaining its independence. The country has an open door policy for asylum seekers and refugees seeking protection in Zambia. For over five decades, Zambia has hosted thousands of refugees from Angola, South Africa, Mozambique, Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo among others. From inception, Zambia has an encampment policy which entails that refugees are supposed to reside in specified settlement camps and movement to other parts of the country is restricted. However, the world is changing and refugees globally are opting to live in urban areas as opposed to living in settlement camps in rural areas. This is largely due to social and economic hardships camp life presents. The movement of refugees to urban areas presents its own share of challenges on the host communities in the urban areas. The study therefore aimed at investigating the factors that cause conflict between refugees and the host communities in Lusaka district. The sample was drawn from refugees residing in Lusaka as well as Zambians residing in the same locality as refugees. Further, the sample included officers from institutions working closely with refugees. The research study revealed that there were low levels and incidents of conflicts between refugees and their host. The major factors of conflict between the two populations were attributed to social and economic factors In Zambia, refugees are moving to urban areas in search of better opportunities. This movement has shown to present both positive as well as negative impacts on the host communities. It is therefore important to understand what is causing refugees to move from the rural settlements to urban areas and factors causing conflicts between the refugees and the host communities in Lusaka.
Refugees and host communities.