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In 1989 a conflict between Senegal and Mauritania, caused over 70 000 Mauritanians to seek refuge in Senegal resulting in a protracted refugee situation.
The office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is mandated to find lasting and durable solutions for protracted refugee situations.
The current durable solutions available for refugees are voluntary repatriation, resettlement and local integration.
Although many Mauritanians have returned to their country of origin via a process of voluntary repatriation, some chose to remain in Senegal.
UNHCR (West Africa) has prioritised local integration as the most suitable durable solution for the region.
Senegal in partnership with UNHCR has implemented a local integration strategy for those Mauritanians that have remained in Senegal.
This strategy will be critically analyzed together with the legal framework governing refugees, further emphasizing the importance of social integration of refugees into the host community.
In this regard the study aims to depict that local integration is a socio-legal phenomena and if not carefully considered, a situation meant to improve the lives of refugees can be the very source of conflict.
Miss Pillay is an admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa and a holder of a Masters degree in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa from the University of Pretoria.
Her areas of interest include: Refugee law, international criminal justice, childrens rights,climate change and HIV/AIDS.
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