Refugee Policy in Sudan, 1967-1984

Refugee Policy in Sudan, 1967-1984

Refugee Policy in Sudan, 1967-1984

Refugee Policy in Sudan, 1967-1984

Synopsis

This book discusses Sudanese government policy towards the refugee flows from Ethiopia into the Eastern Region of Sudan in the period 1967 to 1984. Karadawi concludes that government failed the refugees because of misconceived strategies.

Excerpt

The refugee issue is politically loaded and involves many parties in complex sets of power relations. There are parties directly involved in the conflict that generates refugees, such as governments and opposition groups seeking to oust them. There are parties working to deal with the plight of the refugees and the consequences of the refugee exodus. Refugees themselves are characterised by ethnic and political diversity, which tends to influence patterns of conflict and cooperation with other parties, particularly the host government and populations. It is from this understanding that I present this analysis of government policy in the Sudan.

I worked for sixteen years with the government office of the Commissioner for Refugees in Khartoum. During these years, I was involved in policy issues relating to refugees and had extensive contact with 'liberation fronts', other government departments, aid organisations, refugees, and, not least, the Sudanese citizens themselves. Among all these I observed the complex relations which often worked to obscure what is conventionally recognised to be the humanitarian motive behind international legal protection and material assistance programmes.

However, neither in the general academic literature on Africa, nor in the mushrooming refugee research, has the complexity of the relationships between parties involved in the refugee phenomenon been sufficiently documented. One reason for this may be the lack of data and inaccessibility of information, as the different parties persistently guard and protect their organisations' interests. in studying the successive governments' policies, I have not faced these difficulties. in preparing the research material, I had access to all the government documents that I needed.

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