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Imidugudu is a programme that was launched in 1994[citation needed] by the Rwandan Government to rehouse the many hundreds of thousands of returnees after war and genocide in 1994. The programme since 1997 has been modified and extended to target rural population more generally. In this later manifestation the plan was to bring scattered households closer together in villages. The programme was implemented with substantial support from organizations such as the UNHCR and numerous NGOs. What began as a response to a crisis became a massive scheme in social engineering and a controversial development programme.[1]

Human Rights Watch surveys have found people's approval for the Imidugudu program has varied widely depending on the location. In Cyangugu, a prefecture on the Congolese border, about half of the people surveyed by a Dutch NGO supported the resettlement. Only 7 percent of residents in Gitarama were willing to move, however.[2]


  1. ^ Hilhorst, Dorethea. and Leeuwen, Mathijs. Van (2000) Emergency and Development: the Case of Imidugudu, Villagization in Rwanda, Journal of Refugee Studies 13(3):264-280
  2. ^ "Popular Reactions to Imidugudu". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 17 October 2016.