The distinctive geo-political features of the great lakes region is that is a vaster recipient of refugees and displaced people. The countries which constitute the region (Burundi, R.D. Congo, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda) are refugee Generating in the same time play host to thousands of refugees from within the region itself.
The local regimes for refugees protection are inadequate since these countries are by themselves unable to care about the rights of their own citizens because of tension and politic immaturity. They do not have a refugee specific legislation and their laws are much concern with controlling refugees than protecting them.
It known that the main cause of refugee flows in the world is human rights violation, which can be, identifies by the following reason:
-Ethnic and other types of conflict between communities
-Systematic and economic oppression
The United Nation High Council for Refugees point out: an accumulation of abuses by violence, which leads to further abuses and generalised climate of fear which lead to further abuses and generalised climate of fear is a sequence that produces mass exodus.
The principle instrument relating to refugees is the convention relating to status of refugees of 1951 and 1967 protocol relating which establish a global regime for refugee protection. Human Rights instrument relevant to refugees includes the Universal Declaration of human rights 1948, the international convention on economic social and cultural rights, 1966 (ICESCR) and the international convention on civil and political right (ICCPR), there also regional instrument such as the 1950 European convention for protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The U.N convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of 1984, which has an unequivocally worded provision on non-refoulement. It is a specialised tool in relation to the protection of refugees.
Militarism has strangled democracy in the Great lakes region
The Great Lakes region is composed; the Democratic Republic of Congo (R.D.C), Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania and at its periphery the region draws in other neighbouring state such a Kenya, Republic of Congo and Zambia.
All the country in the country in the Great Lakes are characterised by dictatorships type of government, often of the military or semi-military type.
The opposition in these countries are repressed and marginalized. In all that come out an ethnic undercurrent although this aspect is much more pronounced in Rwanda and Burundi.
Internal conflict and civil war are endemic in these countries. In Rwanda a civil war has persisted since the country was invaded from Uganda in 1990, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo are equally ravaged by war of civil and international characters (more than 200000 dead Burundi since 1993 and more than 4 million people since 1997).