African Refugees: Development Aid and Repatriation

African Refugees: Development Aid and Repatriation

African Refugees: Development Aid and Repatriation

African Refugees: Development Aid and Repatriation


"Of the world's refugees, more than one third reside in Africa, displaced from their homelands by war, poverty, famine and political persecution. In this book, contributors explore key issues related to these refugee populations. The first section looks at the legal frame work for defining and assisting refugees. The second deals with the issue of relief by considering specific cases, the general problems faced and particular relief efforts. Subsequent chapters address the issues of forced migration, resettlement and repatriation, conflict with local populations, integration of refugees and sustainable development." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Refugees and Africa seem almost synonymous. of the over fifteen million refugees in the world, Africa has more than five million. They are the product of ideological wars and nationalist conflicts, of environmental disasters and ethnic hatreds, of the brutal ambition for power of a few and the poverty of many. Ethiopia, Somalia and the Sudan have become known to most people in the West through the images of refugees on their tv screens, but Liberia, Ghana, Kenya, Chad, Angola, Rwanda, Burundi and, not least of all, South Africa, must all be included in the long list of African refugee-producing countries. There are one million Mozambican refugees alone, who make up 12.5 percent of the population of Malawi.

In no other continent is there such vast suffering. in no other continent do we find greater generosity in the local assistance given to refugees by surrounding states. They have a broader definition of a refugee and the obligations to assist, yet in some places the conflicts are so horrendous and the terrain so formidable that aid agencies cannot overcome the military and geographic obstacles to deliver needed relief supplies. in no other continent are the needs so vast and the capacity to assist so meagre.

This volume takes a thematic approach. the first brief section provides the legal framework for defining and assisting refugees. the second section considers the lack of resources that contribute to refugee production and inadequate relief aid. Since relatively few African refugees are able to avail themselves of one permanent solution to their plight--resettlement abroad-- the third section discusses the two other permanent solutions utilized-- settlement in countries of first asylum and repatriation.

However, the refugee problem is inseparable from the problem of economic development in Africa, both in preventing situations that create refugee flows and in dealing with either of the permanent solutions available--settlement and repatriation. Unless economic development occurs, neither solution is workable in the long run. the final section focuses on the issue of refugees and development.

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