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AFRICA

Children's Rights

Protecting Sudan's Children
Forced Migration Review, 2007, no. 28, pp. 36-37(2)
Freedson, J., Singh, S. and Spencer, S. W.
Abstracted by: Annmarie Barnes
Abstract:
The conflict in Sudan, specifically in Darfur, has had adverse effects on the entire region, and its population is greatly affected by the violence. Some of the most at-risk populations affected by the conflict are children. Freedson and her colleagues outline some of the stark realities faced by children from the Darfur region in light of intervention by humanitarian organizations. The discussion is based on a mandate from the Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict organization, which released a report titled sudan's Children at a Crossroads: An Urgent Need for Protection." The findings of that report indicate that Sudanese children are being subjected to violence from armed forces including sexual violence, forced capture for service in armed forces, and fatal attacks. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement was supposed to lead to peace in southern Sudan, but the provisions have not been effective in alleviating the level of violence long-term. The international community's initiatives such as the UNHCR's plan to repatriate internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees to Sudan have made positive but limited gains toward resolving the issue. Moreover, these initiatives were negatively affected by difficulty in logistics, lack of support, and the lack of security for the returnees. This security vacuum has made it difficult for agencies to collect accurate data concerning the number of children affected by violence and the specific incidents. There is also the potential for retribution when incidents are reported, which may deter victims from speaking out or seeking justice. Furthermore, the humanitarian organizations in the region compiled information that document the killing and torturing of children. The findings from these organizations indicate there is a high incidence of sexual violence and abduction affecting children and adults, school enrollment has declined in response to potential abductions at schools, and children and refugees have been captured and forced to become soldiers in the conflict. Despite these grim findings there is a sense of inchoate hope. The governments of Sudan and its neighbors can play a prominent role in protecting children by providing funds for programs that support education, and allowing humanitarian organizations access to areas of need throughout Sudan. The most salient recommendations that could improve the lack of security for children in Sudan include: avoiding forced relocations for IDPs, education for IDPs, protection of children, increasing and maintaining resources allocated for the protection of children, and sustained influence from trading partners such as China to encourage adherence to international law and international treaties.

Trafficking in Children in West and Central Africa
Gender & Development , 2002, vol.10, no. 1 (2002): 38-42(5)
Dottridge M.
  Abstracted by Elizabeth Stands
Abstract:
The sensational account of a ship carrying “slave children” in West Africa (revealed in the Western press in April 2001) again brought the West’s attention to the plight of trafficked children. Dottridge is quick to criticize, however, the Western press’ willingness to take credit for revealing the trade in trafficked children. He insists that it was, in fact, efforts by West African NGOs and journalists, through research and advocacy, which truly documented and illuminated the organized trade in children. He is critical, not only of praise of the Western press in revealing the problem, but also in its inferences of an African ‘culture of slavery’ and its choice to publicize the more sensationalist elements of the trade without concerning themselves with identifying the realities and underlying causes of child trafficking. Dottridge uses this article to describe efforts by various West and Central African organizations and governments to address the problem of child trafficking, focusing primarily on trade within African countries. Before discussing these efforts, the author notes some of the cultural traditions which unwittingly support the trafficking in children, and particularly highlights the role of gender inequality in perpetuating the trade. Traditionally in West and Central African societies, girls in rural areas are sent to more affluent homes to work as domestic laborers. The practices in these societies, wherein communities are accustomed to seeing girls leave their homes for marriage, where girls are kept out of school to work in the home, and where laws of inheritance do little to ensure security for women and girls, all contribute to a complacency in allowing girls to leave the community, on the pretence of improving their situation and unwittingly being pulled into the trafficking trade. The majority of children trafficked are girls and almost all are coerced into the trade by traffickers intent on placing them in situations of forced labor. Boys more often find themselves on farms, doing the physical labor which complements their traditional role in their culture. Dottridge acknowledges the reality of girls forced into prostitution in Europe , but chooses not to expand the scope of this article to discuss their plight. Instead he looks at the situation throughout Western and Central African and identifies organizations such as the Constitutional Rights Project in Nigeria, the WAO-Afrique NGO based in Togo, and ESAM (a Beninois NGO) all of which work to report on and create solutions to the problem of trafficking. Dottridge observes that the impact of the African media writing reports on the trade resulted in the governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Mali creating a commission of inquiry, which resulted in an agreement to reduce the traffic. The work of local and regional NGOs caught the attention of larger international actors, such as UNICEF and the World Bank, resulting in regional workshops and increased efforts to create programs. Despite this flurry of activity, however, the author highlights the unfortunate lack of coordination of these agencies in program delivery, agreeing on methods of protecting trafficked children once identified, and determining what systematic action to take to help these children. Dottridge concludes by reinforcing the negative impact that gender inequality plays in minimizing efforts to coherently deal with the problem of trafficking. He points out that too many governments in the region leave the issue to women’s ministries, instead of using more powerful actors, such as Ministries of Labor, to initiate plans of action. He believes, “…this would almost certainly be unacceptable if the majority of trafficking victims were men and boys.” (p41)

War/Dance
Film: 2008
Directors: Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine
Producers: Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine
Distributor: Velocity/Thinkfilm
Runtime: 107 minutes
  Abstracted by: Ellen Jorgensen [2010]
See Listing Under "Refugees"

Human Rights

A Basic Human Rights Approach to Democracy in Uganda
Journal of Contemporary African Studies, February 2002, 20, pp 203 (20)
Susan Dicklitch
  Abstracted by: Simon Madraru Amajuru
Abstract:
Dicklitch’s article discusses with clear quotations from various reputable sources how the “internationally” respected no-party movement system in Uganda has failed to develop into a rights-protective regime (one that strives to ensure basic rights for all, including rights to physical security, minimal economic security and political participation) and rights-respective society (that which has an active civil society to act as watch dog of the state and of itself). With a human rights approach, the author concludes that Uganda falls short of both a rights protective regime and a rights- respective society thereby undermining prospects for consolidating the transition to democracy that seemed to have started in 1990s. The British Colonial regime in Uganda planted seeds of divide and rule that bred the negative ethnic classes and hatred that is being experienced to-date. The civil wars and many military coups that have characterized the history of Uganda are results of the colonial legacy. The post colonial regimes did not reverse this sad situation but instead consolidated it. In the 1970s the military government of President Amin forced Asians to leave the country. The governments after Amin did not help as the country went into more chaos. The rebel National Resistance Movement (NRM) of Museveveni took state power in Uganda in January 1986 and introduced a new type of democracy based on a Ten-Point Program. The NRM democracy that is based on a “no party system” where politicians are elected into power based on their individual merit promised parliamentary democracy, popular democracy and decent living for every Ugandan. The NRM government was generally accepted in most parts of the country and donors supported its positive economic growth policies and its toleration of existing political parties that were inactive. It established a broad based government, where key opposition members were invited to join the NRM in 1986 but this was short lived because NRM started to consolidate its rule and blamed previous governments and political parties for the past political instability of Uganda .
In what the author calls “the stability-democracy trade-off”, the article discusses how the NRM has contributed to more political instability with massive killings and displacement of civilians as more rebel and terrorist groups like the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), the West Nile Bank Front (WNBF), the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), the National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (NALU) and many others formed. The “alternative democratic” systems created from the village level to the district level have not performed to expectations of many people. The Local Council (LCs) structures that were created are controlled from above, lack resources and became corrupt. The movement government has become more intolerable as exemplified by cabinet reshuffles being used as mechanisms to punish cabinet ministers who oppose the views of the government and the President.
The article gave credit to the NRM for a better human rights record than the previous governments. They established democratic institutions like the Constitutional Commission, the Human Rights Commission, the Office of the Inspector General of Government and the Electoral commission. However, the limited civil and political liberties, repression of society, foreign driven economic and development strategies that are poor unfriendly and the chronic problem of corruption have hindered their development into a rights- respective regime. The paper also identified the weak and fragmented civil society, divided political parties and lack of human rights consciousness as impediments to the development of a rights- respective society in Uganda . The NRM government became an economic success story to many donors, especially the World Bank and IMF when the government started to implement the Structural Adjustment Programs.

 

Modern-Day Slavery?
African Security Review, 2003, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 81-89(9)
Fitzgibbon, K.
  Abstracted by: Elizabeth Stands
Abstract:
Human trafficking, the exploitation in men, women and children for forced labor and sexual exploitation, is a major threat and challenge for Africa. Fitzgerald provides a concise and thorough account of the various kinds of trafficking, the reasons for its growth, and the impact of trafficking on individuals, families, societies and states, focusing particularly on West and Central Africa . Much of the research used to support her points comes from reports from the United Nations, International Labour Organization (ILO), and UNICEF. The author notes how some African customs inadvertently play a role in the proliferation of trafficking. The traditional practice of sending children to affluent homes to afford greater educational opportunities, the custom of traveling to distant locations to engage in seasonal labor, and the more recent trend in seeking a fortune in “the West” make it easier for traffickers to mislead children’s parents and coerce individuals into a trafficking scheme, relying on promises of a better future. Once entrapped by the traffickers, enforced debt, physical brutality (such as beatings and rape), and forms of imprisonment ensure that those trafficked will rarely escape. In West and Central Africa , the ILO estimates that 200,000 to 300,000 children are trafficked each for forced labor and sexual exploitation; West Africa is the most prevalent location for women trafficked to Europe for prostitution. Fitzgerald emphasizes how the population of marginalized individuals most vulnerable to traffickers is increasing due to civil unrest, natural disasters and armed conflicts. People fleeing these situations (namely, refugees), facing physical and economic insecurity, are highly susceptible to manipulative promises of financial success and outright abduction. Traffickers receive high profits and face minimal risk in being captured or prosecuted. Government militaries and rebel militias often benefit from trafficking in the form of bribes, child soldiers, and sex slaves. Thousands of trafficked Africans die every year through mishap, disease, abuse or murder. State actors whose role it is to combat trafficking often are constrained by a lack of political will to effectively address the situation, limited funding, and an absence of a coordinated effort by agencies and organizations with similar mandates. The author notes the international community’s complacency in permitting trafficking by failing to mobilize around the human rights violations of the trafficked or to prosecute traffickers of war crimes in war crimes tribunals. The effects of trafficking on West African nations are devastating. Fitzgerald describes the myriad impacts of trafficking, including the perpetuation of poverty and illiteracy; inhibiting the creation of a future, skilled work force; depressed wages and an inability to fully engage in the global market; failure of the state to demonstrate its authority or protect its citizens; and the loss of cultural knowledge and tradition as adults and children pulled out of their communities are unable to give or receive their heritage. Unfortunately, without serious political will and the mobilization of anti-trafficking actors, traffickers will continue to “victimize African men, women and children, depriving them of their basic human rights, depriving countries of critical human capital to compete in the global economy, and depriving all governments of the ability to establish law and order within their own borders.” (p.88)

 

Dying in Darfur – Can the Ethnic Cleansing in Sudan be Stopped?
The New Yorker, Aug. 30, 2004 pp56-73 (17)
Samantha Power
  Abstracted by: Alexandra Nichols
Abstract:
“Dying in Darfur ” by Samantha Power provides us with an extensive and thorough look into the current situation in Darfur, Sudan. Through the use of interviews with both government and janjaweed members and local accounts by Arabs and Africans as well as a brief historical background analysis Samantha Power begins to show us just how inextricably complicated the situation in Sudan is. Power explores not only the current situation in Darfur and the events leading up to it, but also addresses the issue of relative silence from the international community as a whole. Power asks what can be done to put an end to the ongoing atrocities. She sets the stage for the reader by providing essential background information dating back to the 1990’s and US government involvement in Sudan. The Clinton administration led a rather confrontational approach involving sanctions, the withdrawal of the US Ambassador in 1996 and followed by a tomahawk missile attack. This was carried out due to Sudan’s role in harboring terrorists. The US government approach then took a turn with President Bush, who restarted the multilateral peace process talks. It is however important to note as Power points out the significance of the 1997 executive order barring US companies from operating in Sudan. The civil war might have to come to an end with peace having to prevail before the US could begin to tap its oil sources. Peace talks were therefore pursued with vigor in hopes of soon opening the oil market. As the situation began to look promising however, things took a turn for the worse and those groups not involved in the US backed peace talks rose up. In response southern Sudan began a bombing campaign in western Sudan, thus bringing the peace process to a standstill. Power then brings us back to the 1980’s and the root of tension between Arab and African Sudanese. We see here that this is in fact a very deeply rooted problem. With the recent uprising in 2003, the Sudanese military began its bombing campaign while using Arab militia men on the ground to combat insurgents. This only added fuel to a fire already there. Through interviews with Musa Hilala, the implicit coordinator of the janjaweed in Darfur (appointed by the government) and later Salah Abdellah Gosh, the head of the National Security and Intelligence Service Power demonstrates just how linked these two are. She also provides us with accounts by young men recruited for what they were told were “border-forces” to bring peace. Power shows us to what extent the janjaweed and Sudan’s government are not only so incredibly intertwined but how they have developed methods for deflecting criticism of the current situation while also attempting to hide evidence of the ongoing ethnic cleansing. The Sudanese government has gone so far as to try to pass off previously arrested criminals as janjaweed members. What has remained unclear however is what the governments’ agenda is for leading this campaign in Darfur and for arming and funding the janjaweed. Power draws on two theories to try and answer this question. One holds that the campaign is part of a larger plan to “Arabize” the region while the second theory holds that the Sudanese government (following the agreement in 2002 to grant secession to rebels in the South) could no longer afford to assuage another rebel group.
Nonetheless Power points to the fact that of even greater importance is that of getting the international community which has remained divided on the issue, more involved. What currently appears to be the most realistic route for peace keeper intervention is that coming from the African Union.

Gender Against Men
DVD: 2009
Runtime: 43 Minutes
Written by: Daniel Neumann
Produced by: Daniel Neumann, Otim Patrick, and Ann Chang
Refugee Law Project, Faculty of Law, Makerere University, Uganda
  Abstracted by: Vivienne Chew [2010]
Abstract:
  In "Gender Against Men", the Refugee Law Project (RLP) explores the hidden world of sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) against men. Drawing from testimonies of male survivors, the documentary provides powerful and thought-provoking narrative on the violence perpetuated against men in the conflicts of the Great Lakes region. Overt forms of violence- including sex-selective massacres and rape- as well as more subtle practices that erode and undermine the traditional male provider/protector role are explored. Sources of violence include soldiers and armed groups, as well as ineffective gender-equality policies implemented by relief agencies in refugee camps. The documentary depicts the psychological and physical trauma that is inflicted on male survivors, as well as the implications of such violence on family members and the stability of the wider community.
  Through "Gender Against Men", the RLP highlights an issue that has been largely ignored by governments, non-governmental organizations, and humanitarian actors. Central to the documentary is the RLP's challenge of gender stereotypes that permeate mainstream discourse on SGBV; the RLP questions the perpetuation of a male-perpetrator and female-victim paradigm, and the portrayal of SGBV as synonymous with violence against women and girls. Dismissing such approaches as one-sided, the RLP argues that failure to consider both men and women in approaches to "gender", especially in SGBV intervention and gender-equality programs, will only work to the detriment of male survivors, their families and their communities.

A Panther in Africa: POV
Director: Aaron Matthews
Producer: Aaron Matthews
Distributor: PBS/POV
Runtime: 70 minutes
  Abstracted by: Morgan Marks [2010]
Abstract:
A Panther in Africa shares the story of two former Black Panther Party members and their ability to transcend borderlines and cultural boundaries. The Black Panther Party, an African American revolutionary organization, was originally formed to combat the mistreatment of African Americans, and advocate and fight for the recognition and respect of their rights. The group is often known for its" violent and bold statements and tactics, while its social activism and welfare programs, such as the feeding of multitudes of impoverished and hungry people on a daily basis, have often been overlooked.
  The film centers on Pete O" Neal and his wife Charlotte O"Neal, two former Black Panther Party members, who are currently exiled in Tanzania. Pete is one of the original founders of the Black Panther Kansas City Chapter; after hearing of the Black Panther Party in 1968, he founded the Kansas City Chapter, as he wanted to stand up for his "black community," as well as lead efforts to better the lives of his community members. In the film, Pete describes the impact that the Black Panther Party had on his life; before his involvement with the group, his life consisted of making poor choices, filled with regrets and many mistakes. The Black Panther Party changed his life for the better.
  However, in 1970, Pete was forced into exile after facing what he refers to as a "bogus charge" of carrying a gun across state lines. Both Pete and Charlotte were displaced to Tanzania, where they began their lives anew. The film depicts their struggle to cope and deal with their forcible displacement; both faced sickness, loss of self-identity, and had to overcome the difficulties of fitting into a new culture, and entirely new ways of living. The film portrays the extent to which the O"Neal's were challenged daily to find peace and purpose in their new home.
  In particular, the film highlights Pete's struggle with self-identity and belonging in Tanzania, where his new roots are, and where his ancestors came from. However, because he grew up in the United States, and first considers himself an African American, he struggles with his identity and to reconcile a sense of belonging to multiple places with a new life in Tanzania. The film depicts how Pete and Charlotte, as forcibly displaced exiles, have emplaced themselves in Tanzanian society, and the ways in which they have constructed a sense of home and belonging in their country of exile.
  A Panther in Africa shows an insider's view of the O"Neals" everyday struggles, their persistence in the face of adversity, their successes, and most importantly, their incredible transformation to find what they perceive to be their true calling and genuine selves. The O"Neals have truly established themselves as part of the Tanzanian community, and in doing so, have given back more of themselves than they ever could have imagined. Other forcibly displaced persons can learn from their experiences.

The Devil Came on Horseback
Film: ?
  Abstracted by: Tessa Powell [2010]
Abstract:
In 2003, ethnic violence broke out in the Darfur region of Sudan. Arab militias, known as the Janjaweed, travelled throughout the region killing entire villages of people, raping women, and preventing any survivors from returning by burning huts to the ground. This destruction continued without strong international forces in the region to stop the human rights abuses. A ceasefire ending a years-long civil war in Sudan was signed earlier in 2003, but had little effect on Darfur. This film follows Captain Brian Steidle"who joined the African Union as an international monitor of the Sudanese ceasefire after leaving the U.S. Marine Corps"as he travelled through the Darfur region monitoring the violence. Unarmed and based out of Nyala in Darfur, he was responsible for receiving complaints, investigating violations of the ceasefire, determining who was responsible, and writing reports to send back to the African Union office in al Fashir.
  Steidle knew little about the region and was ill-prepared for the destruction he would witness; armed only with a camera (which provided the images for this film) he recorded all that remained in the wake of the Janjaweed's campaign of terror. Those who had been displaced and later spoke with Steidle make it clear that the Arab militias were being armed and trained by the Sudanese government of Omar al-Bashir and then sent to Darfur to attack non-Arabs in the region. In fear for their lives, an estimated one million or more people fled the region and found themselves in makeshift displacement camps. Not even this was an escape, as the Janjaweed found and attacked some of those in the camps as well.
  Without permission from the African Union to defend the innocent lives at risk, all Steidle could do was document what he saw in pictures and film. The pictures are haunting, reminding him of the evil that would continue to happen if something were not done. Steidle finished his contract and returned to the U.S, but after much consideration, he met with Nicholas Kristoff of the New York Times and shared his story, validating the dire situation through film. Steidle became a face for the campaign to end the genocide in Darfur, speaking on news programs, at rallies, testifying before Congress, and meeting with political leaders to push for action in Darfur.
  Though President Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell acknowledged that the situation was genocide, no steps initially were taken by the American government to do anything about it. Resolutions and sanctions were passed at the United Nations, but little was done in the way of enforcement. Despite the dismissive attitude of political leaders around the world, Steidle returned to Africa to learn more from the refugees who had made it across the border into Chad. These conversations brought to life the pain and suffering of his photographs. The documentary ends with little resolution, as violence continues to occur in Darfur and the international community remained ambivalent. The film serves as a call to action rooted in the dark tragedy of the worst possible human rights abuses.

Gacaca in the context of reconciliation: the case of Rwanda
The Applied Anthropologist, 2009, 29(1), 87-91
Marineau, J.
  Abstracted by: Logan Boon [2010]
Abstract:
Moving forward from Peter Van Arsdale's discussion of the state as a key player in the perpetuation of genocide, Josiah Marineau attempts to answer the question of what role should the state play in dealing with the aftermath of genocide, by looking at the case of Rwanda. Marineau analyzes the Rwandan government's role in the creation of the Gacaca Courts in order to "understand the role of the state in crafting an institutionalized response in the context of the period following the genocide" (Marineau, 87). The Gacaca Courts were constructed to tackle the incredible caseload that the country faced as well as to reconcile the people of Rwanda. Though the courts were designed while reinforcing traditional forms of justice, they varied in many important ways including the severity of crimes, the punishment sentenced, and non-voluntary participation.
  One of the major goals in the implementation of the Gacaca courts was reconciliation. The government sought this by allowing victims satisfaction in knowing perpetrators have been punished while also integrating offenders back into society. However, Marineau points out that the punishment of the "perpetrators" may actually undermine the intended process of reconciliation. The design of the courts led to an overwhelming separation of Hutu perpetrators and Tutsi victims, despite the Tutsi government's abuses of Hutus directly after the genocide. Marineau explains that the state denial of these massacres after the genocide reinforces a collective guilt among the Hutu population, replacing ethnic distinctions of "Hutu" and "Tutsi" with the one-sided prosecutions of "perpetrator" and "victim." Furthermore, Marineau explains how the courts have unintentionally led to continued victimization of some survivors. While the government intended the courts to be a place of healing, by allowing survivors to share their stories, the lack of security and public participation in the proceedings has undermined it.
  Marieneau's article shows the difficulties within the process of reconciliation in Rwanda through the Gacaca Courts, including collective guilt and continued victimization. The article shows important implications of a government's role in post-genocide reconciliation and while the Gacaca Courts were originally lauded in the international community for their uniqueness and traditional ties, they have now come under much criticism. Bridging off of other authors" analysis of the role of the state in genocides, Marineau attempts to analyze one of the first major modern attempts at state-sponsored reconciliation after such atrocities. He provides an important examples of the goals of the Gacaca as well as the problems that it has faced.

TOP

Refugees

Interethnic Relations in Exile: The Politics of Ethnicity among Sudanese Refugees in Uganda and Egypt
Journal of Refugee Studies, 2004, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 420-436(17)
Moro, Leben N.
Abstracted by: Teresa Braun
Abstract:
This paper examines the role that interethnic relations have played upon both the conflict in Sudan and the lives of refugees living in Cairo, Egypt and camps in Adjumani, Uganda. It is based upon field research conducted in both locations, with data collected from refugees and displaced persons, aid workers and government officials via questionnaires and focus groups, as well as the observations and experiences of author Leben Nelson Moro, who was a refugee in Uganda and lived in Egypt as both a student and refugee. He starts by looking at the tendency to see refugees as one mass of helpless people, ignoring the historical, social, and political contexts that they come from, as well as the new situations that they are a part of, whether through camp life or an urban environment. The importance of ethnicity and cultural identity is evident in looking at the refugee situations that stemmed from two civil wars in Sudan and the roles that the diverse populations played.
Sixty-five percent of Sudanese are African, thirty-five percent Arab, with over seventy percent being Muslim. There are over 500 different ethnic groups, most of them in the south and west. This diverse population makes looking at the civil wars as "a rebellion from the south against the government based in the north" far too simplistic. In fact, events in neighboring Ethiopia increased already existing discord, among smaller ethnic groups and the larger Dinka population, leading the Sudan Peoples" Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) to split into Dinka- and Nuer-based factions, which then split even further. This fighting, more reminiscent of dozens of local tribal conflicts than an organized war, led to about 4 million internally displaced and 440,000 refugees by the end of 2001. Among the refugees were those who went to Uganda and Cairo where their ethnicity continued to play a role both in the development of the conflicts in Sudan and further conflicts (or unusual bonds) formed in their new homes.
The refugee structure in Uganda has been one of mutual refugee movements between the two countries, depending upon local situations. There is a tendency for different refugee groups to be associated with the actions of the SPLM/A, especially the Dinka, leading to insecurity for these groups or denial of permanent settlement due to local hostility. These vulnerabilities are not always recognized by aid agencies, which do not necessarily comprehend the highly politicized relationships that exist among the Sudanese. There are also camp-specific circumstances that break down along lines of ethnicity, especially given the need to compete for a limited amount of available resources and aid. This often leads to competition between groups like the Madi and the Kuku, who in Sudan, as minorities, would have cooperated with one another. Any conflicts that arise in the camps have the potential to affect resettlement in Sudan as lingering mistrust and competition can serve to refuel political anger and resentment.
The situation in Cairo reveals similar tensions among ethnic groups, including running street battles between the Dinka and Nuer fought in revenge for violence occurring in southern Sudan. This led to the dissolution of SOSSA, the southern Sudanese student organization, which was then replaced by ethnically-based associations that also occasionally served a political role in Egypt in concert with the SPLM/A office in Cairo. The role of Sudanese in Cairo is also influenced by a long-standing relationship between the two nations. Northern Sudanese have blood and cultural ties with Egyptians, while those from the south share few cultural and familial ties, making their lives in Cairo more difficult. They have often been the targets of racism, especially the African Sudanese, or have been targets for Egyptian suspicion or anger over Sudanese policies. Since they settled in urban areas they often do not receive services from NGOs, forcing them to rely more upon themselves to survive, which often means turning to locally run Sudanese organizations that are organized along political and ethnic lines. The problems of refugees in Sudan are compounded even further by the historical relationship between Egypt and Sudan in which Egypt did not reward refugee status to Sudanese and limitations were placed upon their legal rights, making it hard for them to survive.
In both Uganda and Cairo, examining the tensions and political relationships between the various Sudanese refugee groups challenges the assumption that refugees are a homogenous group, a single mass," that is passive and de-politicized simply through the act of fleeing conflict. Rather ethnicity and politics play a role in camp life and new urban settings, often making groups more vulnerable or bringing other groups together in ways that would not previously have been imagined.

Refugees and the Spread of Conflict: Contrasting Cases in Central Africa
Journal of Asian and African Studies, 2003, vol. 38, no. 2-3, pp. 211-231 (21)
Whitaker B.
  Abstracted by: Keely Tongate
Abstract:
This article addresses how refugee movements exacerbate the spread of conflict using the Rwandan refugees fleeing to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania in the 1990s as a case study. It argues that while refugees do generally change the landscape of a receiving country this transformation does not always result in conflict. There is limited research on refugee flows and the spread of conflict. However, research addressing the internationalization of conflict is being developed. The research has given two main examples of refugee flows advancing the spread of conflict. The first is when refugee flows affect the balance of power by either shifting the ethnic make-up of a society or limiting access to resources. The second example is when refugee flows bring new belligerents into the host country thus escalating the political context. The Rwandan refugees did spread conflict into Congo (formerly Zaire ) but not to Tanzania. The article gives three reasons for the divergent outcomes: regime legitimacy, extent of politicization of ethnicity, and the domestic political decisions of the leader. The Rwandan refugees that fled to Zaire found a failing state, highly politicized ethnic groups, and a dictator willing to exploit the refugee situation in order to maintain his power base. The refugees fleeing to Tanzania found a country in the process of politico-economic liberalization, a lack of tension along ethnic lines, and incentives to promote peace and stability. The examples of Tanzania and Congo depict the factors that could potentially exacerbate the domestic situation in a host country and increase the likelihood of conflict spillover. The usefulness of these indicators is not limited to Tanzania and Congo. An analysis of Angolan refugees in Zambia and Mozambique refugees in Malawi strengthen the author’s argument. The two relatively stable states were able to absorb the refugees without the spread of conflict. The situation surrounding the Greater Horn of African refugee populations do not directly correlate with the author’s contention. Cote d’Ivoire presents the strongest argument for the author’s argument. Cote d’Ivoire was a model of stability and a long-time refugee acceptor. However, a changing domestic political environment created the scenario for conflict spillover. Thus, the author seeks to address the point that conflict is not always spread by refugee flows. What is clear is that refugees are both affected by and affect established political environments. If the essential destabilizing factors already exist in a given state, conflict could arise. In the interest of both the receiving country and the refugee population it is important to analyze a host country’s specific politico-economic dynamics to predict if the spread of conflict is likely. Then, governments and the international community can take the proper steps to mediate escalating situations.

 

The Use and Abuse of Refugees in Zaire
Refugee Manipulation – War, Politics, and the Abuse of Human Suffering, Stedman S., Tanner F. (eds.), 2003, pp. 95-134
Adelman H.
  Abstracted by: Marie E. Ott
Abstract:
Following the defeat of Rwanda’s genocidaires by the Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF), over 1,600,000 Rwandese Hutu fled the country. Most of them were routed by the surviving genocidaires into neighboring Zaire (Democratic Republic of the Congo). The international community mobilized to help those fleeing Rwanda and established refugee camps along the Zairian border. But much of the international community, including the Western public, continued to remain ignorant about the history and circumstances surrounding the Rwandan conflict. The media coverage of the fleeing refugees led many observers to falsely believe that all of the refugees were innocent. This article presents the crisis that ensued in the Zairian refugee camps, where the extremist Hutu groups were able to regroup, recruit, and plan to carry out the unfinished genocide of the Tutsi. By building and funding refugee camps that unexpectedly came to harbor extremists, the international humanitarian community was a key player in assisting the genocidaires’ “quasi states” and their manipulation of the Hutu refugees. In addition, Rwanda’s civil war and ethnic cleansing spilled over into Zaire. The Zairian government and army assisted extremist Hutus and allowed them to attack Zairian Tutsis. This article looks at the circumstances surrounding the flight of the refugees in 1994, the creation of the refugee camps and the factors that allowed them to be a safe haven for the genocidaires, repatriation issues, and the operations launched by militants from within the camps. It also describes the roles of Rwanda, Zaire, other regional states, the international community, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) from the start of the refugee flight in 1994 to their initial repatriation in 1996. Western states, the United Nations, international humanitarian agencies, NGOs, and the media coverage all contributed to the cause of the genocidaires, as they witnessed but did very little to stop the abuse of refugees in Zaire. In conclusion, the essential issues in this crisis had to do with the way that the international community implemented its assistance to the refugees. Genuine refugees were not separated from the refugee genocidaires and nothing was done to stop the genocidaires from using the camps as a home base for further manipulation and slaughter. Despite incidences of tragic aftermath, the refugee problem was eventually resolved after the militants in the camps were defeated and the refugees were free to return home.

 

Migration in West Africa
Development , 2003, vol. 46, no. 3, pp. 37-41(5)
Adepoju A.
  Abstracted by: Elizabeth Stands
Abstract:
Adepoju discusses the changes in historical trends in migration in West Africa, looking at factors which are influencing these changes and noting states’ responses. Adepoju begins with an account of traditional migration in West Africa, noting that West Africans have consistently moved around the sub-region for a variety of reasons, including opportunities for better employment and escape from environmental disasters and armed conflicts. Until recently, inter-regional migration followed certain patterns, with some countries being understood as generally labor-exporting and others labor-importing. Changes in economic and political stability as well as job opportunities are shifting these traditional patterns, so that, for example, more women are engaging in the short- to long- term seasonal job migrations in which men had typically dominated. This applies not only to women engaged in commercial trade, but high-skilled, professional women as well. Trafficking in illegal immigrants has increased as people seek to reach Europe and further abroad to fulfill dreams of economic prosperity. Trafficking in children for forced labor and prostitution is prolific, based in part on traffickers taking advantage of the traditional child-fostering system. Adepoju highlights the underlying force behind migration changes, including women’s greater participation and increased trafficking: poverty. The author emphasizes the effects of resource and environmental constraints, including desertification; decline in real incomes; limitations in rural growth, resulting in urbanization; and macroeconomic restructuring. He also notes that some of the traditional labor importing countries, such as Côte d’Ivoire and Nigeria, have experienced political and economic upheaval, limiting employment opportunities, while other countries, such as South Africa, have more opportunities, influencing the choices migrants make when moving, particularly highly-skilled professionals. Changing economic and political realities have generated various responses by state governments, many protectionist in nature. Adepoju discusses particular countries’ strategies to regulate the flow of persons such as identity cards; using ethnicity and religion to define nationality; registration of aliens; and compulsory exit visas for all residents. Immigrants are being used as scape-goats for countries’ economic and political woes, potentially exacerbating tensions which could become explosive. The armed conflicts spreading throughout West Africa have created an enormous flow of refugees throughout the region, challenging the capacity of the refugee regime to respond adequately and reinforcing states’ defensive attitudes. Despite the formation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to handle, in part, migration issues, states continue to use expulsions and deportations to rid their territory of immigrants seen as threats. Yet, ECOWAS is simultaneously the mechanism that has provided some potentially controversial solutions to the changing migration patterns and related impacts which the author supports. ECOWAS promotes the free movement of persons without visas, has introduced ECOWAS traveler’s checks as well as the creation of an ECOWAS passport. Adepoju also recommends advocacy and public education to off-set negative stereotypes of immigrants and to promote an understanding of the potential for changing migration patterns to aid all countries in the region in development.

 

“The Road Home. Dreams and Fears. ‘I Am Going Back to the Land God Gave Us’ ”
Refugees Magazine, United Nations High Commisioner for Refugees. Volume 1, Number 134, 2004, pp. 3-10
  Abstracted by: Keesha Egebrecht
Abstract:
This article addresses the important subject of repatriation for refugees. There are always many emotions and motivations for returning to one’s homeland and this article aims to articulate them. One particular case discussed was about a girl who fled from Mozambique because she was fearful of both government troops and guerillas. She claims she would have been killed had she stayed home. Mozambique has been through much turmoil, beginning with the colonial struggle against the Portuguese and then a brutal civil war. Around 6 million people abandoned their homes; in this girl’s case she fled to neighboring Zimbabwe . As with many other refugees, the thought of returning home kept her sane through the long years of pain and hardship. When that day finally came, she felt immediate euphoria followed quickly by feelings of doubt and apprehension. Over the years she had come to feel safe in the refugee camp where she was able to feed her children and make many friends. Often refugees are scared to abandon what they know to return to a situation that is unstable and unknown. During a 30-month period in the early 1990’s 1.7 million refugees returned back to their homes in Mozambique. Then another 4 million came out of hiding in nearby villages and “the bush” and returned home, making it one of the most successful repatriations in modern history. During and after WWII, the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) helped an estimated 7 million people repatriate. However, the global political climate has changed and now the preferred solution is voluntary repatriation. Many refugees face the decision of returning to a region that is peaceful, while there is fighting in a neighboring one. Often the desire to go home is stronger in older refugees because of the memory of home, compared with younger refugees who are not tied to the land like their elders. Approximately 50-60% of refugees fall into this category because many have been in exile for so long the young tend to outnumber the old. Not every homecoming is pleasant though; one man returned to a situation where he found his father dead, his friends had left and his village completely destroyed. The UNHCR has played an integral part in many refugee repatriations. It has come to recognize the importance of including local communities as well as returnees in key economic, social and cultural projects.

Negotiating Authority between UNHCR and "The People"
Development and Change, Volume 37, Number 4, 2006, pp. 759-778
Turner, Simon
  Abstracted by: Vivienne Chew [2010]
Abstract:
  Turner examines the ways in which refugees negotiate and establish public authority in refugee camps, with a specific focus on young Burundian males in Lukole camp, Tanzania. In Lukole, governance structures implemented by the camp commandant, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and other international relief agencies create a sense of order and control "from above". In reality however, public authority is far from established; constant attempts are made by refugees to negotiate and establish a form of legitimate authority in the face of unstable social relations and a breakdown of moral order in the camp.
  Turner highlights the struggle in Lukole between "orthodox and heterodox opinion, between longing for the moral order of yesterday and striving for the opportunities created in the camp." (p.776) Traits such as mobility, language skills, education, and openness are regarded as necessary for success, and emphasis is placed upon youth and change while old hierarchies have been swept away. At the same time, there still exists a yearning for the "good old days" and the desire to preserve Burundian values and ideals in a newly configured, camp-based society.
  It is in this environment that young men in Lukole have successfully carved out three positions of influence: as street and village leaders; as employees of non-profit organizations operating in the camp; and as owners of income-generating businesses. Turner explores the ways in which these groups of men have used their youth and mobility to out-maneuver the old patriarchy and become "big men" within their communities. He contrasts the ways in which each group has navigated and manipulated systems of governance instituted by UNHCR and other agencies to achieve legitimacy and authority both in the eyes of the camp authorities and the refugee community. In particular, each group has drawn upon ideas of a Burundian moral order, while at the same time learning the "development-speak" of the international agencies.
  Although Turner's focus is on Lukole (which is now closed), his analysis provides valuable insight into the ways in which young refugee men have adapted to, and made the best of, new rules and sources of power in a camp setting.

From Refuge to Refugee: The African Case
Public Administration and Development, 2001, 21, pp. 159-170
Geisler, Charles, and Ragendra de Sousa
  Abstracted by: Dina Buck [2010]
Abstract:
Authors Geisler and de Sousa discuss the circumstances of a little known but growing category of refugees they call "other environmental refugees" (OER). OERs are persons displaced by a phenomenon termed "exclusionary conservatism." Exclusionary conservatism is the enacting of environmental protection measures, frequently realized in the form of government-established national parks, which result in the forced eviction of individuals and communities inhabiting the protected areas. After eviction, these individuals are rendered homeless, landless, and stripped of their traditional livelihoods. The governments and NGOs advocating for and implementing these conservation measures seldom acknowledge how exclusionary conservatism creates OERs, or the negative consequences OERs face after eviction. Additionally, OERs themselves are frequently unable to advocate for compensatory measures because they lack political representation, have minimal resources, and are socially marginalized. Geisler and de Sousa point out that, while environmental conservation and human security are normally understood to be complementary, in the case of Africa at least, the situation appears to be reversed: as protected land area increases, poverty levels also increase. The authors note that estimating the number of OERs is difficult at best but, by using different types of population and land conservation data, estimates can still be made. Geisler and de Sousa analyze four different tables of data to aid in assessing the number of OERs in relation to the amount of protected land in different African countries. Among other things, the tables provide data on land area, population by cohort, population densities, and total protected area; estimated numbers of OERs resulting from the establishment of national parks; and poverty level rank relative to the amount of protected land in each respective country. As touched on earlier, one of the most interesting findings is that countries with higher percentages of protected land also have higher rates of poverty. The data also show that, depending on certain factors used like density assumptions, and the analytic approach employed, anywhere from hundreds of thousands to millions of individuals are estimated to have been displaced by exclusionary conservation worldwide. To rectify potential negative impacts future conservation measures could have on populations living in yet to be protected areas, Geisler and de Sousa argue that conservation efforts must be aligned with human security, and individuals residing in areas slated for protection must be given viable alternatives. They point out that, around the world, numerous examples of cooperation between land conservation and agrarian reform exist, demonstrating that alliances between the two sectors are possible.

Returning Refugees: Four Historical Patterns of "Coming Home" to Rwanda
Journal of Comparative Study of Society and History, 2005, pp. 252-285
Newbury, David
  Abstracted by: Dina Buck [2010]
Abstract:
  Africa has long been a continent of both voluntary and forced mobility. In this article, author David Newbury discusses the importance of understanding how historical contexts that compelled both voluntary and forced mobility of Rwandans shaped the way they conceived of and felt about "home." Newbury identifies and discusses four historical mobility patterns of Rwandans, and the diverse ways in which individuals in each group identified and characterized "home." He notes that much focus is given to the processes by which individuals become displaced, while little attention is paid to the effects "coming home" has on both returnees and the communities receiving them.   Normally, home is thought of as something static and unchanging, something "circumscribed" by state boundaries, something defined by nationality, or something "positional." While these conceptions may indeed be how some individuals conceive of home, there are ways in which these conceptions may be too restricted. Individuals returning to a homeland with which they have a previous history will feel differently about the return than will their children who may have never actually been to the "homeland." People who have chosen to leave home will feel differently about returning than those who were forced out; emigrants who have been away from their homeland for many years will feel differently about returning than will those who have been gone only a short while; and home for some may be defined more by relationships or social space," rather than place of origin. For this latter group of individuals, "home" is defined less by place, and more through the people they know, the places they work, and the networks within which they operate. Newbury points out that, prior to colonialism and the implementation of artificial boundaries, "home" for Rwandans was not necessarily set by geography. People moved about fluidly to seek better land, escape dynastic rule, flee famine, and follow business prospects. This fluid movement, however, was altered by the imposition of colonial-instigated boundaries that changed both the face and culture of Rwanda. Pre-colonial trade patterns were interrupted and politics were changed, causing a number of Rwandans to flee the country.   Newbury's four historical "movement clusters" span pre-colonial and post-colonial influence. The first group consisted of pre-colonial cultural Rwandans who were quite nomadic. They frequently encountered other groups and shared cultural traditions, creating a widespread cohesiveness of cultural norms. This shared general identity" meant that "home" was thought of in terms of culture and social systems, as described earlier, rather than in terms of a static location. In the second group were economic migrants. Within this group were those who hoped to return to Rwanda after emigrating, thereby developing a strong sense of Rwanda as "home," and those who decided to settle permanently in their new location, who focused on shedding their strictly Rwandan identities. The third movement cluster consisted of those who fled decolonization in the 1950s and 1960s. These individuals, says Newbury, most closely fit contemporary notions of "classic refugees." Having left Rwanda against their will for political reasons, individuals in this cluster idealized Rwanda as home, maintaining a strong desire to return there. These exiles often found themselves at the mercy of their host governments, facing either political inclusion or exclusion, depending on what was most advantageous for the government at the time. Refugees living in Uganda, for example, faced politically mercurial behavior on behalf of the Ugandan Government until local hostilities finally compelled many of them to return to Rwanda in the 1980s. Those denied return by a cash-strapped Rwandan government formed the Rwandese Patriotic Front and demanded their right to return. Both war and political negotiation ensued, helping set the ground for the 1994 genocide. Thus, the final group Newbury identifies were those fleeing the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Members of this group, says Newbury, were ostracized by host communities and unable to integrate into their new locations. Many faced such violence abroad that, by 1996, they were forced to return to Rwanda. By that time, their homeland had been drastically altered by the genocide and their social ties destroyed, making these refugees" return to Rwanda much different from how one imagines "returning home" might be.   Newbury's analysis of these four movement clusters in Rwanda demonstrates there are many factors that play into how people identify and conceive of "home." He contributes to emplacement theory. Historical context and definitions that go beyond the conventional are important factors to take into account when attempting to understand displaced persons" notions and feelings about "home."

Language Maintenance and Identity among Sudanese-Australian Refugee-background Youth
Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, March 2009, vol.30, no.2, pp.127-44.
Hatoss, A. and T. Sheely
  Abstracted by: Nirvana Bhatia [2010]
Abstract:
A linguistically vulnerable population, refugees tend to either reject their first language and culture, or to cling strongly to their mother tongue and traditional values. The first method stems from a desire to achieve socio-economic status in their host country, which usually entails separation from their heritage; the latter occurs when refugees refuse to accept their new situation and to mentally "relocate." Both paths are coping mechanisms which impede successful integration into the host country society. Linguists thus prefer a dual outcome, where the mother tongue is maintained, but where the dominant language is also acquired. Sudanese refugees in Australia have demonstrated this healthy linguistic balance, and are therefore the embodiment of a dual mandate in linguistic human rights (i.e., respecting the native language while also encouraging use of the host language).
  In this survey, Hatoss and Sheely examine language maintenance and shift (LM&S) amongst Sudanese youths with refugee backgrounds in Australia. The large size of the Sudanese community makes linguistic and cultural conservation feasible; as of 2006, 19,049 people in Australia had been born in Sudan and 17,848 people reported Sudanese ancestry. Furthermore, the Sudanese are often placed in regional settlements on the outskirts of cities, which provide favorable conditions for the maintenance of heritage languages and ensure that the refugee community remains close-knit. As a result of the Adult Migrant English program, however, these individuals communicate in English; Dinka"the dominant ethnic language in South Sudan; Arabic"the country's official language; and Kiswahili"the language of the interim refugee camps. For this case study, 67 high school-age Sudanese-origin children in Toowoomba, Queensland were asked a series of questions (in English) about their language preferences. In general, the researchers found that the children feel their strongest language is Dinka, and that they were not as confident in their English abilities. If everyone involved is a Dinka speaker they are inclined to use Dinka to communicate, but in the company of other language speakers, they immediately switch to English. Additionally, the students recognize that different situations require different languages, such as English on the soccer field, or Dinka in church.
  Thus, while the children expressed the growing role of English in their lives, they remained devoted to their mother tongue, saying it was an essential part of their cultural heritage and identity. From a human rights perspective, immigrants often have very few language rights; they are not protected by any minority language acts or by universal declarations such as the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Consequently, they often sacrifice" or are forced to sacrifice" their mother tongue in order to survive in a new environment; Sudanese-Australians, however, seem to realize the importance of being able to function in both Dinka and English. In their discussion of the survey, the authors conclude that it is important for community leaders to "harness these positive attitudes and implement effective language planning for the continued maintenance of the tribal languages," thereby ensuring that traditional domains such as church and family are not taken over by the dominant language, while also continuing to provide the refugees with English language support.

Remittance Patterns of Southern Sudanese Refugee Men: Enacting the Global Breadwinner Role
Family Relations, 2008, vol. 57, no.4, pp. 431-443.
Johnson, Phyllis J., and Kathrin Stoll
  Abstracted by: Laura Egan [2010]
Abstract:
As refugees flee to new countries seeking asylum, the ties that bind keep them connected to their home countries and those they know " such as family members who have remained there. Johnson and Stoll look at the role Southern Sudanese men residing in Western Canada play as the "Global Breadwinner" (term used to denote individuals who provide financial support for family members in other countries) and the strain associated with it. The study focused on the remittance behaviors and attitudes of the Sudanese men, the level of financial and emotional strain for those serving as global breadwinners, and assessed the variables that affect the men's perceptions. Remittances in 2003 added up to $79.5 billion through official channels, with the money contributing to the livelihoods and economic sustainability of the receiving parties. This is especially important in African countries such as Sudan that are affected by a multitude of factors including internal conflict and widespread poverty. Remittances serve as an important connection for family ties across borders, acting as an implicit loan agreement between members. Role strain theory plays a significant part in understanding the effects of enacting the global breadwinner role because it expands upon the emotional strain that emerges out of the anxiety of trying to fulfill financial obligations and the financial strain when it comes to diverting income from sender to receiver. In relation to this theory, the authors examined a variety of variables including social support within the community, religiosity, length of time in Western Canada, age, English proficiency, marital status and financial indicators (such as amount of remittances).
  A total of 172 questionnaires were completed, with the focus on men since they are seen traditionally as the main wage earners in the Sudanese family. The data revealed that the men were relatively young and had spent an average of 3.6 years in Canada, with 34.1% having citizenship status. Within the group, 89.5% were currently sending remittances back to family still residing in Africa and though the frequency and amount varied, the majority reported that sending money was considered very important. A surprising result was that the men with higher incomes (more than $20,000) faced greater financial strain since those at that income level anticipated being able to afford more luxuries associated with the Canadian lifestyle compared to that of newcomers.
  The implications of this study, along with its potential contributions, are far-reaching when it comes to understanding the role of a global breadwinner and the responsibilities that accompany this role. Social service workers in the receiving countries must understand the significant commitments of these men to continue supporting family members outside the host country. Ties within the Sudanese community helped reinforce the remittance obligations, creating emotional strain while also providing coping resources that in turn reduced the financial strain. Government resettlement agencies in all countries should make themselves aware of the context in which a global breadwinner thinks and lives to better understand the difficulties and trade-offs that might be encountered when taking these individuals" future into consideration. The study, though small in scope, is useful for understanding the needs and considerations of refugees that are starting a new life while at the same time maintaining ties to their home and family members abroad, as well as the roles of the agencies that work with them.

War/Dance
Film: 2008
Directors: Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine
Producers: Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine
Distributor: Velocity/Thinkfilm
Runtime: 107 minutes
  Abstracted by: Ellen Jorgensen [2010]
Abstract
"Our story is difficult to hear, but if we don"t tell you, you won"t know it." This is the sentiment presented by three orphans in Patongo, Uganda. Patongo is a war displacement camp where over 50,000 people live under twenty-four hour military protection from the Lords Resistance Rebel Army that hides in the bush. In this documentary, the cameras follow the lives of three remarkable teenage children of the Acholi tribe: Rose, Dominic, and Nancy. Their tribe has been suffering from over 20 years of violence in which thousands of children have been abducted, orphaned, and forced to live in government camps. To make matters worse, these children are constantly reminded of the horrors they have experienced and human rights abuses they have witnessed. They live in a constant state of fear as refugees in the camp.
  As the story progresses, filmmakers Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine find hope in a National Music Competition, which Patongo Primary School will compete in for the first time. This Olympic style competition, set in the capital city of Kampala, features over 5,000 Ugandan students from across the country. Students are judged in eight arenas including western choir, creative dance, original composition, traditional folk song, dramatic composition, instrumental performance, and traditional dance. The documentary follows these three children, and the many others voices of Patongo, as they struggle to find hope in a refugee camp and their future, through voice, dance, and a xylophone.

Lost Boys of Sudan
Directors: Megan Mylan and John Shenk
Producers: Megan Mylan and John Shenk
Distributor: Shadow Distribution
Runtime: 87 minutes
  Abstracted by: Morgan Marks [2010]
Abstract:
The Lost Boys of Sudan tells the real life story of Peter and Santino, two "Lost Boys" who escaped the tragedies in their home country, and who were eventually resettled in the United States. The coined term "lost" when referring to the "Lost Boys" was originally given to the group of Sudanese boys due to the fact that they had traveled together fleeing the violence and war in their home country of Sudan and arrived in Kenya without parents, seemingly just a large group of boys who had survived and were displaced victims of war.
  The film begins in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya, and follows the boys on their journey to the United States. The film does not focus a great deal on their past, but concentrates on how incredibly difficult adjusting to life in a new country is. Learning how to use an electric stove, shopping for groceries, paying rent, and getting an education are just a few of the challenges faced by Peter and Santino. When they enter the United States, while there are many people and organizations that welcome and help them, the film also portrays the ignorance, ethnocentrism, and displays of superiority shown to Peter and Santino by the American people.
  The viewers will learn of Peter and Santino's daily struggles, inside and out, including their feelings of financial responsibility to their families still in Africa. Each boy is incredibly strong, and the film depicts how each copes and tries to fit in to American culture. This film is sure to put any viewer on a rollercoaster of emotions, and truly touch many hearts; the viewer is able to "bear witness" to the resettlement and adjustment process, as well as the heartache that many refugees face as a result of their displacement. The goal of the film was to not only educate viewers, but to also make it apparent that the overarching goal for the "Lost Boys," is to not consider them lost at all, but found, as they each try to make America their new home.

Somali Bantu: A New Home, A New Life. Interview with Ali.
http://www.mindseyeproduction.com/ (accessed September 2010).
Swain, Lauren
  Abstracted by: Jonathan Page [2010]
Abstract:
This documentary examines the life of Ali Daud, a current Colorado resident and also a Somalia Bantu refugee. The short story details how he has escaped persecution to become one of approximately thirteen thousand Somali Bantu refugees who began to resettle in the US in 2003. The narrative provides an informative historical account of the persecution that members of the Somali Bantu tribe have experienced. In the 1800s, Arab slave traders invaded South East Africa, territory which is now under jurisdiction of Mozambique and Malawi. Those captured were taken and forced into slavery in Somalia. After escaping slavery, they were able to establish farms in Southern Somali, yet still endured severe discrimination at the hands of the Somali majority. They have systematically been denied jobs, education, and land ownership based primarily upon cultural and physical differences. Ali Daud describes the severe discrimination his people were subject to, noting the bar placed upon the opportunity to achieve an education. He explains that members of his tribe could not afford to go to school because they are required to pay double the tuition that others are expected to pay. This ethnic discrimination contributed to the Somali civil wars in early 1990s. Bands of gunmen invaded the Somailian communities, stealing crops and killing the population by the thousands. Those who survived fled. Ali Daud fled to Kenya, where he lived for twelve years in the Kakuma Refugee Camp prior to reuniting with his family. During that time, his parents thought that he had been killed. As Ali Daud describes life in the camp, he is reminded of the sickness prevalent throughout the camp, including rampant cases of malaria and AIDS. The documentary concludes by taking a look at Ali Daud's process of integration into life in the United States, and the center charged with assisting in his adaptation, the African Community Center. As of September 2005, approximately one thousand Somali Bantu still inhabited the Kakuma refugee camp.

The Impact of Mozambique's Land Tenure Policy on Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons
Human Rights Brief, 2000, Volume 7, Issue 2.
Hanchinamani, Bina
  Abstracted by: Martha Pigott [2010]
Abstract:
Among the many difficulties facing refugees and internally displaced persons is the issue of land tenure. As displaced persons transition back to their home country, these returnees often find themselves without the home or the land they had once inhabited. In many cases, their previous land has been resettled or otherwise occupied. In Hanchinamani's article, we find that such was the situation for many Mozambique refugees. A total of 5.7 million of their country's 16 million people were displaced by the end of their 15 year civil war in 1992.
  The issue of land rights has been characteristic of Mozambique since the time of the Portuguese colonial rule. Local peasants lost their land to commercial farms under the Portuguese, only to be bereft of that stability again when a new government took control and forced rural people to give up their homes. Hanchinamani takes us on a historical journey beginning with the FRELIMO government, who took control at the time of independence in 1875. FRELIMO initiated a socialist development strategy which involved the displacement of 1.8 million people into communal villages that were poorly maintained and managed. Hanchinamani touches on the violent emergence of the RENAMO opposition group whose clash with the government only furthered the displacement. In 1992, however, FRELIMO and RENAMO signed peace agreements, but the issue of land tenure was still highly contested. Finally, in 1997, the Land Law was passed. Hanchinamani discusses the many advantageous provisions of this law, one of the most important being the increased role of local communities and traditional leaders. In order to improve the land rights of those lacking documentation, Hanchinamani writes, the law requires that courts accept verbal evidence from surrounding community members as proof of ownership.
  Hanchinamani's article provides a comprehensive look at both the origins and the response to the 1997 Land Law. Many consider the law to be a huge step in the right direction as it vastly expands the rights and bargaining power of peasants in determining land tenure. For Hanchinamani, however, some problems still exist at the local level. Some NGOs are working to translate the 1997 Land Law into various local languages so that the people can understand their rights. Also, more needs to be done towards reversing the history of discrimination against women so that their rights may also be upheld. Despite the remaining concerns however, Hanchinamani writes that the efforts of the Mozambican government are commendable and exemplify a policy model for other countries to follow.

Rain in a Dry Land
Film: ?
  Abstracted by: Tessa Powell [2010]
Abstract:
This documentary chronicles the journeys of two Bantu families who fled Somalia in the early 1990s as violence broke out near their homes. They fled to Kenya, where they lived in the Kakuma Refugee Camp until they immigrated to the United States as refugees.
  The adults state that when the violence broke out in Somalia, it was sudden and unexpected. Gunmen entered their homes and families fled on foot. For both of these families, it resulted in the deaths of some family members and separation from others. Some reunited at the refugee camps, while others were lost indefinitely. Living in the Kakuma camp for over a decade, the families adjusted to the transitional life they were living, although resources"especially food"were limited.
  Many of the children have little memory of Somalia or the escape to Kenya; still others were born in the refugee camp and know little else of life. As the two families prepared to move to the United States, they were required to attend orientation sessions in which they learned basic skills including reading and writing English, major differences in custom, and how to count and use American money. The families were shown videos of what to expect in the United States and appear very excited and certain that anything would be possible after they arrive. When they are told the official date they will be leaving for the United States, one family throws a party for those left behind.
  The families have two very different experiences after arriving in the United States. Some struggle to learn English and because of that, cannot secure employment. One large family, unaccustomed to regular bills and the cost of food, became extremely disheartened. Both parents struggled with depression and stress over basic living"being able to heat their home and feed their children on the limited assistance offered by the U.S. government. The children adapted more quickly, though still at different paces. The younger children learned English much more quickly than the older children. While some were excited about the prospect of an education, others found difficulty in catching up to their peers (especially with the language barrier).
  The film follows the families for the first eighteen months they are refugees in the United States. Through the eyes of the refugees, the viewer becomes aware of the challenges presented to immigrants who come to the United States. The country provides an amazing opportunity, but it does not come easily and as these families learn, it takes a great deal of dedication and work.

'Lost Boys' and the Promised Land: US Newspaper Coverage of Sudanese Refugees
Journalism 2003 4(1): 29-49
Robins, Melinda B.
  Abstracted by: Shailer Vatsa [2010]
Abstract:
Newspaper coverage in the United States of the Sudanese refugees popularly referred to as the "Lost Boys" is woefully superficial, playing out as feel-good human-interest stories yet neglecting to flesh out the complex situation in the Sudan. The author notes that Africa and its citizens are continually represented as backward and primitive; few reporters make the effort to enlighten readers to the historical and socio-political environment of the diverse continent. Additionally, America is represented as the civilized savior of the downtrodden Sudanese refugees, with little credence given to the negative aspects of life in the United States, such as racism. While the "Lost Boys" are regarded as quaint in their ignorance of modern amenities, American ignorance of international affairs, including those which instigated the "Lost Boys"" journey to the US, is rarely addressed. A ribbon of ethnocentrism, both implicit and explicit, winds through the stories that depict the arrival of Sudanese refugees in America, making the underlying message more about American supremacy and less about the plight of those fleeing desperate situations. Much of the news, be it covering the "Lost Boys" or otherwise, lacks the contextual background which would enrich American understanding of the world outside its borders.

God Grew Tired of Us
Film, 2006
Director: Christopher Quinn
Producor: Molly Bradford Pace, Christopher Quinn, and Tom Walker
Distributor: New Market Films
  Abstracted by: Holly Philpot [2010]
Abstract:
God Grew Tired of Us chronicles the journey of three young Sudanese men, part of the refugee group known as the "Lost Boys of Sudan", as they leave their homes in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya and begin new lives in the United States. In the early 1990s, many young Sudanese boys survived attacks on their villages by government troops in Southern Sudan. Orphaned or separated from their families, they banded together by the hundreds to make extensive treks across Sudan to escape the war. These "Lost Boys" found refuge first in Ethiopia, and eventually in Kenya, where the majority of the boys " now young men " still reside today. The United States began resettling some of the boys in 2001.
  The documentary follows three of the Lost Boys " John, who is resettled in Syracuse, New York; and Daniel and Panther, who are resettled in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania " as they attempt to navigate through the strange culture of their new country. However, more than just focusing on the material changes in their lives, the film captures the very insightful struggles of these young men as they wrestle to reconcile their past with their present. For them, life in America is both trying and joyous, and very different from anything they had ever imagined.
  Despite their limited education and humble roots, the "boys" provide a poignant commentary on American culture and their own situations that reveals both an innocence and a deep maturity about life. They struggle to overcome a sense of isolation and loneliness after having been separated from a community and traditional support system that had buttressed each of them their entire lives. Yet they also feel a burning responsibility to make something of themselves in America. The motivation to succeed does not stem from material desires, but rather from the hope that they will be able to help those they left behind and do something to aid their war-stricken country. Their stories are indicative of the great pain suffered in this world and the strength of the human spirit to overcome.

Ensuring durable solutions for Rwanda's displaced people: a chapter closed too early
Global IDP Project, July 8, 2005, Online Article
Link
  Abstracted by: Logan Boon [2010]
Abstract:
This Global IDP Project report sought to give light to the problems facing internally displaced peoples in the Ruhengeri and Gisenyi areas of Rwanda due to government implementation of the National Habitat Policy. While more than 650,000 refugees were in makeshift camps in these areas in 1998 and 1999, by 2000, the United Nations declared that they were no longer considered internally displaced peoples due to the "efforts to stabilize the situation through durable solutions" by the Rwandan government (4). This article argues that the situation on the ground is much more dire than some analysts had thought and that the conditions of the camps had deteriorated just four years after the UN made its declaration. The article focuses on the forced displacement of individuals, the inability of these individuals to return home even after security is no longer considered a threat and the failure of the government to provide quality living conditions.
   Following the genocide, as many as two million Hutus fled the country, fearing revenge from the now Tutsi-dominated government. The National Habitat Policy, or the villagization program, implemented in December of 1996 by the government, provided for the relocation of all Rwandans living in make-shift homesteads into government created villages. This was particularly needed in regions of Rwanda where old case-load refugees from the 1950s and 1960s had returned and illegally occupied the land and homes of Hutus who had recently fled. The article explains, however, that in the Ruhengeri and Gisenyi regions of Rwanda, there were not a large number of these cases and those who had fled after the genocide could legally reclaim their land. The government, however, argued for moving the population into makeshift camps to facilitate security in the area and to separate the Hutu insurgents from civilians. Even when the region was declared secure, the government refrained individuals from returning to their homes and instead relocated them from the camps into group settlements under the villagization program.
  The article touches on the struggle that these individuals have gone through, citing Human Rights Watch in stating that tens of thousands of these individuals have been resettled against their will. The new settlements have limited access to water and sanitation, land shortages and often no schools. Many of the families are only given 20x25m plots, while the recommended minimum for a household is one hectare and many of the families could viably return to their homes where they had access to more land. The article condemns the UN and the Rwandan government for closing the chapter on Rwandan IDPs, since the government is using its power to forcibly resettle individuals and allowing them to remain in poorer conditions than those in which they started. It provides an important picture of the problems facing returning Rwandan refugees, particularly those Hutus who fled after the genocide and their struggle with returning home.

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Religion

Spirits and the Cross: Religiously Based Violent Movements in Uganda
Small Wars and Insurgencies, Vol 14, No.2 (Summer 2003), pp 113-130
Lawrence E. Cline
  Abstracted by: Simon Madraru Amajuru
Abstract:
The article provides a detailed analysis of the havoc caused to humanity in Northern Uganda , resulting from various rebellions since 1986. A combination of the doctrines of traditional and "modern" religions; ethnicity; marginalization and external forces played complementary roles in the rise and sustenance of the terrorist forms of rebel movements in Uganda . In comparing the insurgent groups of the Holy Spirit Movement (HSM) and that of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda with similar movements in other parts of the World, the article clearly portrays the uniqueness of the two movements. They used traditional and religious methods combined with violence as a method of mobilizing and indoctrinating recruits, more so from their own people. Several factors led to the popularity and rapid expansion (from about 150 fighters to almost 10,000 fighters) of the short lived HSM of Alice Auma Lakwena (popularly known as Lakwena). Ethnic solidarity that emerged out of the marginalization of northern Uganda, a legacy left by the Colonial government, played a big role in mobilizing fighters (mostly former soldiers of former President Tito Okello, an Acholi) against the government of President Museveni (an Ankole from Western Uganda). The local people already believed in Lakwena as a healer and this made it easy for her to mobilize followers towards her “vision of removing Museveni’s government and proclaiming the word of the Holy Spirit”. Lakwena instilled a strong sense of discipline in her combatants and this made her fighters more popular than the government soldiers who were involved in torturing and looting property of the local people. Therefore, the creation of a rebel movement with a strong mix of spirits and some Biblical lineage raised the moral of the Acholi fighters against the government forces. No wonder the HSM forces encountered many problems as their forces expanded to other ethnic tribes in Eastern Uganda. The defeat of the HSM by the government was not felt because Kony swiftly took over as the leader of a more aggressive rebel movement: The LRA. Apart from using spirits and religion, this time a combination of Christianity and Islam, Kony introduced violence on the civilians as a strategy to mobilize his fighting force and sustaining them. Looting, abducting, torturing, rapping and killing became so normal in northern Uganda and Acholi land in particular. The brutality of the government soldiers on the same civilians just added injury to an already bad situation. Most of the “rebel combatants” the government claims to be killing are from among the over 10,000 children abducted by the LRA, some of whom have been killed by leaders of the LRA when ever they attempted to escape. A blessing in disguise for the LRA is the claim of Uganda government support to the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), which resulted to an open support to the LRA by the Sudan government. Thus, making them a powerful force to sustain pressure from the Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) and although the Sudan government is said to have stopped giving support to the LRA and allowed the UPDF to fight the LRA inside their territory, the war has not ended. Despite the costly war, in terms of resources, suffering, and “human blood,” talking peace to end it is not an alternative being considered by both the government and the LRA. There is simply no trust between the two forces, yet they are also uncomfortable with peace initiatives from outside. The Acholi Religious Leaders’ Peace Initiative is trying but there is no sign of breaking through.

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Torture

Amputation as a Strategy of Terror in Sierra Leone
High Plains Applied Anthropologist, Vol. 24, No. 2, Fall, 2004, pp. 158 – 173
Fogelberg, Kate and Thalmann, Alexandra
  Abstracted by: Cara Dilts
Abstract:
In Sierra Leone during the 1990s, between 50,000 and 70,000 people were killed, and 20,000 maimed. Initially, Sierra Leone was ignored by the global community and written off as another small-scale, local, civil war. The Revolutionary United Front’s (RUF) terror campaign had been going on for nearly ten years by the time the international press finally started reporting on the atrocities. Analyses of the crisis attributed the “unexplainable violence” to tribalism and cultural conflict, but recent theories have shifted to include an explanation that includes economic and global influences. Prior to the introduction of the diamond industry in the 1930s, Sierra Leone enjoyed relative prosperity and peace. Now, Sierra Leone holds the lowest rank on the Human Development Index (HDI) and quality of life continues to deteriorate. The diamond-smuggling business is the most highly developed and organized industry in the region. Government officials have become embroiled in this profit-making industry, causing corruption to run rife and essential services to be ignored. In 1990, only 30 percent of the nation’s youth were enrolled in school at all levels, and a large number of uneducated youth turned to the illicit diamond mining industry or to the RUF, who provided a social network and sense of belonging to the young soldiers. The RUF also abducted youth into their swelling ranks. Amputation included political, sociopolitical and economic purposes for the RUF. Amputation was used as a political tool to control the masses. People’s hands were cut off if they dared to vote. The hands were sent to the President in a symbolic gesture to demonstrate the government’s inadequacy and powerlessness to control the RUF. As a sociopolitical tool, the RUF used amputation to ensure combatants’ loyalty to the group. Children were forced to maim or kill their own relatives as a rite of initiation. The forms of suffering brought about through amputation impacted the stability of the social order by transforming the physical workforce and transforming the psyche of victims. The economic ramifications of amputation included using terror strategies to displace people away from diamond-mining areas, giving the RUF control of the mines. The RUF could then purchase enough Liberian arms to sustain their war and enough drugs to coerce their combatants into committing more atrocities. During harvest time, amputation was used to keep the population dependent upon them for food. Basically, amputation was cheap and effective. The war has now been officially over for three years, but the effects of ten years of amputations permeate Sierra Leone. Efforts to rehabilitate both amputee victims and child soldiers have been largely ineffective, and the state continues to be overrun by extreme poverty. Sierra Leone has a long road ahead to strengthen its political, economic and social institutions to ensure that future conflicts do not occur.

 

Somali and Oromo Refugees: Correlates of Torture and Trauma History
American Journal of Public Health, April 2004, vol. 94, no. 4, pp. 591-598 (8)
Jaranson, J, Butcher J, Halcon L, et. al.
  Abstracted by: Keely Tongate
Abstract:
Refugees and asylum seekers have a high risk of experiencing politically motivated torture, most studies cite between 5% and 35%. However, estimating torture prevalence and posttraumatic stress disorder among refugee communities is an extremely difficult undertaking. This five-year community-based epidemiological study of Somali and Ethiopian (Oromo) refugees in Minnesota tasks itself with determining torture incidence and associated problems. The methodology of the study included a comprehensive questionnaire to a sample of 1,134 East African refugees. It sought to identify demographic characteristics, torture methods, and pre and post flight circumstances surrounding the refugee sample. The study used the United Nation’s definition of torture as the foundation for identifying torture victims. Persons acting in an official capacity intentionally inflicting physical or psychological pain in a discriminatory manner is the basis for the UN definition. The participants of the survey were deemed torture survivors if they responded affirmatively to any of the three questions asking directly if they had been tortured or had experienced one of the torture techniques that were construed as fundamentally part of a “torture session.” The results of the study found that torture incidence ranged from 25% to 69%, a figure markedly higher than previously found. Those most often exposed to torture were Oromo men (69%) and Somali women (47%). This study, in contrast to other works, show that women and the less educated are just as likely to be tortured as men and those with higher education levels. The most significant finding was the link between torture exposure and the prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms. The study highlighted the importance of education, economic solidity, social support and religion as the foundation for healthy refugee communities. Not surprisingly, the more prevalent trauma and torture instances was reflected in more generalized problems within the refugee community. Thus, the impact of torture and trauma has a clear impact on refugees that needs to be addressed in resettlement communities. This study was limited to noting torture prevalence between two East African refugee communities. However, it seeks to highlight the absence of information about the effects of trauma and torture on wider refugee groups. It demonstrates the lack of treatment facilities for torture survivors worldwide. It also recommends screening East African and women refugees for possible torture exposure. However, it notes that less than 1% of the highly traumatized population sampled chose to follow-up with mental health services. This phenomenon demonstrates the need to evaluate why the limited services for torture survivors are being under utilized both for the study’s East African sample group and the greater refugee population.

The Devil Came on Horseback
Film: ?
  Abstracted by: Tessa Powell [2010]
See Listing Under "Human Rights"

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