Presentation on theme: "Refugees and Internally Displaced People The Sudan."— Presentation transcript:
Refugees and Internally Displaced People The Sudan
Who is a Refugee? The most widely used definition of a refugee is that employed in the 1951 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. According to this convention a refugee is someone who –“owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social or political opinion, is outside the country of his/her nationality” –Countries that have signed this convention are required to provide asylum to people deemed to be refugees. –What are some potential problems with this definition?
Problems with the convention Leads to a subjective judgment of what qualifies as “well-founded belief”. Refugees may be denied asylum in a country because government officials do not deem their fears to be well-founded. Does not account for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). The definition does not cover people who have been persecuted on the basis of their sex or sexuality.
Refugees and IDP In the world today there are approximately 11,900,000 refugees and 20,000,000 Internally displaced people. The primary sources of refugees in the world today are Palestine, Afghanistan and The Sudan. Of the millions of refugees and IPD in the world only about 1% have been permanently resettled in new countries. Most continue to live in refugee camps or are homeless. In the US, the ceiling for refugees is 70,000 per year. Since 1975 the US has resettled approximately 2.5 million refugees.
The Sudan Fuelled by oil revenue, Sudan has one of the fastest growing economies in Africa and the world. With GDP growth for 2006 at around 9.6%. By comparison China has a growth rate of 10.7% and the US 3.2%. Control over this oil revenue is at the heart of the refugee crisis emerging from the Sudan.
The Civil Wars Beginning with British decolonization of the Sudan in 1955, the Sudan has been plagued by almost perpetual civil war. The conflict which displaced the Lost Boys began in 1983. –Why were they mostly Boys? This civil war is fought between the North Sudan (Northern Government of Sudan and associated militias) and the South Sudan (Sudanese People’s Liberation Army)
An ethnic/racial conflict? The government in Khartoum (The capitol) is controlled by Arab Muslims. The South Sudan is comprised predominantly of Black Christians and Animists. The racial and ethnic differences apparent in this conflict can lead one to assume that this is just one of many ethnic conflicts that appear to continuously plague Africa. However….
Sudan’s oil The Sudan currently produces about 350,000 barrels of oil per day. Most of the massive oil reserves in the Sudan are located in the South of the country. Thus, while political, economic, and military power are located in the north and under Arab- Muslim control, the majority of the resources fuelling this power and wealth are located in the south.
Control of Oil The Sudanese government spends approximately 60% of its oil revenue to purchase weapons. These weapons are used to arm the military and militias that have historically maintain a brutal control over the Animist/Christian Black populations in the South. China is the main purchaser of Sudanese oil.
Results of the Crisis Between 500,000 and 1,000,000 Sudanese refugees fled the violence in the South Sudan. Most ended up in Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Chad –Refugees face violence in camps, are prevented from integrating into local communities, poor living conditions and declining international aid. Between 4,000,000 and 6,000,000 IDPs live in Sudan. 10% of the world’s displaced person’s population. –IDPs rarely receive foreign aid, it is difficult to locate and assist these people. Aid is often manipulated by local combatants.
End of the Crisis? In 2006 a Peace Accord was signed between the Sudanese government and the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army. –This accord allows for the possibility for secession after 6 years, however not all rebel groups or militias have signed it. Darfur: The recent peace accord does not include provisions to cope with the current genocide in Darfur because it is a completely separate conflict.