Villagers displaced by Neumann Kaffee’s plantation face another land grab in Mubende, Uganda
Villagers displaced by Neumann Kaffee’s plantation face another land grab in Mubende, Uganda
South Sudanese Refugees Transform a Camp Into a City in Uganda
#Bidi_Bidi refugee camp is home to nearly a quarter-million South Sudanese who fled the violence of civil war in their home country. Its progressive policies allow refugees to live, farm and work together while they wait to return to their home country. But, as conditions are slow to improve in South Sudan, many refugees are opting to stay.
U.S. Democratic Senators Chris Coons and Chris Van Hollen visited the camp recently. The two lawmakers were touring several refugee settlements throughout Uganda last month, including Bidi Bidi — one of the world’s largest.
Speaking by phone, Senator Van Hollen called the settlements an “important model” that other countries should consider when housing the displaced.https://media.voltron.voanews.com/Drupal/01live-166/styles/sourced_410px_wide/s3/2019-09/Bidi-Bidi-Uganda.png
“Obviously a key ingredient to the success of that model has been significant international support,” he said.
When Bidi Bidi was opened in 2016, it was a rural piece of land in northern Uganda, where South Sudanese refugees, mostly women and children, fled to avoid violence during their country’s civil war.
As is often the case, tensions are common between refugees and the local population, who feel that the refugees are taking resources that might have been available for them.
But, Uganda decided to do something different, earmarking a percentage of the country’s international funding to go toward local amenities. Refugee families were given plots of land to build family-style clusters of homes with room to grow their own fruits and vegetables. As a result, a small-scale economy began to flourish in the camp, with some refugees starting their own businesses.
Last year, following a peace deal between warring South Sudan leaders, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said he hoped the refugees would begin returning home.
But, that’s not the case.
According to a new report published this week by several humanitarian agencies, including Oxfam, refugees — especially women — are hesitant to return home. They fear the peace won’t last.
As a result, settlement official Michael Joelle says Bidi Bidi has reached capacity, and refugees are being turned away and settlements are feeling the strain.
“Before the 2016 emergency, we were offering a plot of 50 by 100, so the number has been decreasing as the number of refugees increase,” said Joelle.
The situation has become more dire after international donors suspended their funding earlier this year after it was reported that funds for refugees in Uganda had been mismanaged.
Grace, a refugee at Bidi Bidi, fled her home country with her children four years ago. Her husband finally joined the family last year.
The former teacher said she doesn’t see herself moving back to South Sudan anytime soon.
“Even we’re receiving bad news, so and so has been killed, so and so has been raped, so many things are happening.”
Et commentaire de Jeff Crisp sur twitter :
It’s not a question of whether a camp looks like a city or not. It’s a question of what rights the refugees are able to exercise.
Former MP, investors evict thousands in Kiryandongo
Former Kiryandongo district Member of Parliament (MP), Baitera Maiteki, an American and an Indian investor have been accused of evicting thousands of people in the western districts of Kiryandongo and Masindi.
The evicted people were living in the gazetted government ranches in Mutunda and Kiryandongo sub-counties along the River Nile. Kiryandongo Sugar, allegedly owned by some Indians, Agilis, owned by an American called Philip Investor, and Sole Agro Business Company, also owned by Indians, have been named in the evictions.
Agilis is said to have bought ranches 21-22, from SODARI, an agricultural farm that collapsed. SODARI got a lease from government, which ends in 2025. However, it was revealed to the Land Commission of Inquiry that Agilis, bought land that was leased, yet legally, no one is supposed to buy leased land.
Agro Business was reportedly given about 60 hectares and displaced all people in the area. Kiryandongo Sugar also forcefully evicted people in the area and ploughed all the land, denying some residents farmland and access roads.
Halfway round the world by plane: Africa’s new migration route
Migrants using traditional routes from Africa to Europe often fail to reach their destinations. Smugglers now offer new options, such as taking migrants to faraway countries by plane.
In early July, Mexico’s authorities reported that the number of African migrants in the country had tripled. According to government figures, around 1,900 migrants, most of them from crisis-ridden countries like Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo, are now in Mexico. Their destination? The United States of America.
The journey by plane of some of these migrants began halfway across the world in Uganda. In a garden bar in the Ugandan capital #Kampala sits a 23-year-old Eritrean man who could soon be one of them. For security reasons, he does not want to give his name. He fled the brutal military service in Eritrea last September. According to human rights organizations, military service in Eritrea can mean years of forced labor. “I do not believe that anything will change in Eritrea soon; on the contrary,” he said. Many young Eritreans see their futures overseas.
Ce qui n’est pas sans rappeler ces autres routes...
Africa: At U.S.-Mexico Border, Africans Join Diversifying Migrant Community
It took Julia and her two daughters five years to get from Kassai, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to a cot on the floor of a migrant shelter in Laredo, Texas, on a Sunday night in August 2019.
First, it was four years in Angola. She saved money, she says, by working as a hairdresser.
They flew to Ecuador. Took a bus and boat to Colombia. They spent 14 days crossing through Panama’s Darien Gap, lost part of the time in the dense jungle. Three weeks in Panama, then three more in Costa Rica while Julia recuperated from an illness. Then Nicaragua. Honduras. Guatemala.
Finally, after a month of waiting in Acuña, on the U.S.-Mexico border, they stuck their feet in the sandy dirt along the southern bank of the Rio Grande. They were alone, and didn’t know how to swim.
“We prayed first, then we got into the water,” Julia recalled. “My daughter was crying.”
“‘Mom, I can’t…’” Julia remembers her pleading in chest-high water.
Halfway across, she says, U.S. soldiers — possibly border agents — shouted to them: “‘Come, give us your hands.’“
“I did,” Julia recalls, “and they took us out.”
More families from afar
Historically, the majority of people caught crossing into the southwest U.S. without authorization were single Mexican adults. In fiscal 2009, Mexicans accounted for 91.63% of border apprehensions, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data.
But demographics of migrants and asylum-seekers crossing into the U.S. from Mexico are shifting in two significant ways: In the last decade, nationals of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras began migrating in greater numbers. In the same period, the number of Mexicans dropped.
Then, in the last year, families became the top source of Southwest border migration. The Border Patrol apprehended 432,838 adults and children traveling in family units from October 2018 through July 2019, a 456% increase over the same period the previous fiscal year.
To the surprise of longtime border agents, while the overwhelming majority of these families continue to be from Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries of Central America, a small but growing proportion are from countries outside the Americas, nearly twice as much as two years ago.
By the end of July this year, CBP data shows the agency had apprehended 63,470 people from countries other than those four, making up 8.35% of total apprehensions. In fiscal 2017, they were 4.3% of the total apprehended population.
CBP does not release the breakdown of where detained migrants come from until after the end of the fiscal year in September. But anecdotes and preliminary data show an increasingly diverse group of migrants and asylum-seekers, including more than 1,600 African nationals from 36 countries, apprehended in one border sector alone.
They are unprecedented numbers.
Allen Vowell, an acting deputy patrol agent in charge with the U.S. Border Patrol in Eagle Pass, Texas, said the recent demographic changes are unlike any he has seen in two decades of working on the border.
“I would say until this year, Africans — personally I’ve probably only seen a handful in over 20 years,” Vowell said.
From Oct. 1, 2018, to Aug. 22, 2019, Del Rio sector agents apprehended 51,394 people, including 1,681 nationals of African countries. They are largely, like Julia, originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola or Cameroon, according to sector officials.
The arrival of sub-Saharan nationals — often Congolese, according to Del Rio Sector officials — posed new challenges. A lot of border agents are bilingual in English and Spanish. But when apprehending a group that primarily spoke French and Portuguese, the agents had to scramble for interpreters.
While many migrants from the Northern Triangle have relatives in the U.S. as a point of contact or a destination, those from Africa are less likely to have those relationships.
That means they are more likely to stay in migrant shelters in the U.S. or in Mexico for longer, waiting to figure out their next steps until their immigration court hearing.
There is the political tumult in Venezuela, leading to the exodus of millions of people scattered throughout the region.
The end of the “wet foot dry foot” policy with Cuba that allowed migrants who reached the shores of Florida to remain, Cubans who want to leave the island for the U.S. to take a more circuitous route.
And then, to the surprise of Border Patrol agents, there arrived the large groups of sub-Saharan Africans, crossing through the Del Rio sector in Texas.
The migrant trail goes beyond Africa.
Ten years ago, CBP detained 99 Indians on the Southwest border. In 2018, it was 8,997.
Similarly, Bangladeshi migrants didn’t figure into the top 20 countries among those apprehended at the border a decade ago. In 2019, there were 1,198.
This week, a Bangladeshi man living in Mexico pleaded guilty to human smuggling charges.
There are also the regional conflicts and tensions in Latin America and the Caribbean that are leading to a bigger number of migrants within the hemisphere arriving at the U.S-Mexico border, like Venezuela and Nicaragua. Haitians and Cubans continue to take the more circuitous route through Central America and up to the U.S., rather than travel by boat to Florida, where they risk being stopped by the U.S. Coast Guard before setting foot on land.
Son’s death sends family on a dangerous journey
Julia says she got tunnel vision after her teenage son was killed in DRC, en route to school one day in 2014 for reasons she still does not know or understand.
She only knows that she received a call from the morgue. A truck dropped his body off there.
He was 17. His name was George.
She can’t go back to DRC, she says. It’s just not safe.
“There, while you sleep, the thieves will come through the roof. They demand money, and if you don’t have money, they’ll rape your daughter,” she said.
“When he died in 2014, I made up my mind that I would not stay.”
They want to get to Buffalo, New York. They don’t have family in the U.S., Julia says, but some people they met on the road were headed there. Word was, there was work, at least.
She had an immigration court hearing scheduled for the first week of August. She was still at the San Antonio shelter, two days before.
They didn’t now how far from Texas it was, or how cold New York gets in winter. They weren’t worried about those things now. They just needed the bus fare to get there, and they had nothing left. No money. No phone.
Ketsia, now 15, speaks Spanish, English and Italian with ease. Jemima, 9, is the best French speaker in the family. They didn’t fight while they’ve been on the road for the last five months, from Ecuador to San Antonio. Not much, at least, they giggle.
“She’s strong. Very strong,” Ketsia says of her mother, in Spanish. “I saw a lot of women who left their kids behind in the jungle. She’s courageous. This path we’re on, isn’t for everyone. If you’re not strong, it’s very difficult.”
“My dream is to arrive there, to New York. To get a job. To put the girls in school,” Julia responds.
“I suffered a lot already,” she says, something she repeats without going into more detail. She has a tendency to stare off, lose herself in thought when the conversation nears the darker parts of their family history.
“I don’t want my children to go through the same,” she says. “We suffered a lot. I don’t want that anymore for my children.”
The shelter where they stayed does not track migrants after they’ve left, and for privacy and safety reasons, shelters do not share whether individuals are staying with them.
Attempts by VOA to locate Julia, Ketsia and Jemima in the weeks following the interview were unsuccessful.
El naufragio de un grupo de africanos en Chiapas revela una nueva ruta migratoria por el Pacífico
El accidente de una lancha en Tonalá deja un muerto y varios desaparecidos. Ante la presión policial en el sur de México, grupos de cameruneses optan por usar vías marítimas para llegar a EE UU.https://ep01.epimg.net/internacional/imagenes/2019/10/12/actualidad/1570833110_016901_1570838683_noticia_normal_recorte1.jpg
Tirado en la playa, entre el pasto y la orilla. La foto del cuerpo de Emmanuel Cheo Ngu, camerunés de 39 años, fallecido este viernes tras el naufragio de su embarcación en Ignacio Allende, municipio de Tonalá, ha vuelto a revivir las peores imágenes de la crisis migratoria que se vive en el sur de México. La nueva política migratoria puesta en marcha por Andrés Manuel López Obrador tras el chantaje de Estados Unidos, ha obligado a los nuevos grupos de migrantes atrapados en Tapachula, Chiapas, a buscar nuevas y peligrosas rutas en su intento de llegar a la frontera norte.
A las 7.00 de la mañana, según pescadores de la zona, una embarcación con personas procedentes de Camerún comenzó a tambalearse hasta que todos cayeron al agua, de acuerdo a la investigación judicial. El portal AlertaChiapas y activistas en la zona consultados por este medio, afirmaron que el bote salió desde la costa de Guatemala o desde el sur del Estado de Chiapas, ya en México, con destino Oaxaca. Cuando llegaron los Grupos de Rescate consiguieron socorrer a 8 personas, 7 hombres y una mujer, que fueron trasladados al Hospital General de Tonalá. El cuerpo de Cheo Ngu fue encontrado tirado cerca de la orilla. Hasta el momento hay varias personas desaparecidas.
La ruta por vía marítima que une la frontera de Guatemala con el istmo de Tehuantepec, en Oaxaca, es una opción cada vez más frecuente ante el aumento de detenciones y deportaciones por parte de la recién creada Guardia Nacional. Tradicionalmente los migrantes han utilizado las rutas terrestres, pero los traficantes de personas cada vez recurren más a esta ruta poco vigilada, más barata y con menos riesgos a ser detenido. Por una cantidad que oscila entre los 400 y 800 dólares —para los cubanos puede ser el doble— esta ruta permite a los centroamericanos avanzar desde Guatemala a Salina Cruz o Huatulco, en Oaxaca.
Aunque la mayoría de los migrantes en México son de origen centroamericano, el flujo de personas procedentes de Camerún, República Democrática del Congo o Eritrea, ha ido en aumento. Los africanos se encuentran en un ‘limbo legal’ ya que no pueden ser repatriados y actualmente tienen la negativa del gobierno federal para recibir los trámites de salida para continuar su trayecto hacia Estados Unidos. En los últimos dos meses cientos de ellos permanecen varados en Tapachula (Chiapas). Algunos en la Estación Migratoria Siglo XXI, y otros en la calle, donde han mantenido protestas y enfrentamientos contra la policía y la Guardia Nacional por la situación que viven y la falta de respuestas.
Luis García Villagran es activista por los derechos humanos en Tapachula. En llamada telefónica y aparentemente afectado, confirma que su versión dista mucho de la de las autoridades. “Hay una embarcación que sí ha llegado a su destino (Oaxaca) y que ni se ha nombrado, pero en la accidentada iban más personas de las que dice el informe oficial. Sé con seguridad que hay más personas desaparecidas. No solo hemos perdido a nuestro hermano Emmanuel”, zanja Villagran.
#Ouganda: essai d’un #vaccin expérimental contre #Ebola | Slate Afrique
Les autorités sanitaires congolaises utilisent le vaccin rVSV-Zebov, fabriqué par le groupe pharmaceutique américain Merck, qui s’est révélé sûr et efficace.
L’Organisation mondiale de la santé (#OMS) a préconisé une extension de son utilisation et recommandé l’introduction d’un vaccin supplémentaire, celui produit par Johnson&Johnson, pour faire face aux besoins.
Mais des voix se sont élevées contre l’introduction d’un nouveau produit dans des communautés où la méfiance à l’égard du traitement actuel est déjà importante. L’ancien ministre congolais de la Santé, le Dr Oly Ilunga, qui a démissionné en juillet, figurait parmi les opposants.
Selon le MRC, le vaccin de Johnson&Johnson « est sûr » et a été testé sur plus de 6.000 personnes en Europe, aux Etats-Unis et en Ouganda.
Son efficacité est cependant incertaine car il n’a jamais été évalué dans un scénario d’épidémie.
Israel’s scramble for Africa: Selling water, weapons and lies
Ramzy Baroud, Al Jazeera, le 23 juillet 2019
For years, Kenya has served as Israel’s gateway to Africa
The Palestinian leadership has itself shifted its political focus away from the global south, especially since the signing of the Oslo Accords. For decades, Africa mattered little in the limited and self-serving calculations of the Palestinian Authority. For the PA, only Washington, London, Madrid, Oslo and Paris carried any geopolitical importance - a deplorable political blunder on all accounts.
Yet, despite its many successes in luring African governments to its web of allies, Israel has failed to tap into the hearts of ordinary Africans who still view the Palestinian fight for justice and freedom as an extension of their own struggle for democracy, equality and human rights.
Briefing: How Congo’s Ebola epidemic became the world’s second deadliest
More than 11 months after an Ebola outbreak was declared in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the viral disease has claimed more than 1,500 lives, infected 2,244 people, and spread across the border into neighbouring Uganda, where two deaths and three suspected cases were reported mid-June. A new confirmed case just 43 miles from South Sudan’s border was reported Monday.
#Justice. #Total mis en demeure de revoir ses devoirs | L’Humanité
Cela lui pendait au nez depuis un moment. La semaine dernière, déjà, quatorze collectivités locales françaises mettaient en demeure Total « d’agir plus pour le climat ». Hier, les Amis de la Terre, l’association Survie et quatre ONG ougandaises en ont rajouté une couche. Se saisissant de la loi sur le #devoir_de_vigilance des #multinationales adoptée en 2017, les organisations exigent de la major qu’elle précise et applique le plan de vigilance censé encadrer un projet d’#extraction_pétrolière qu’elle envisage en #Ouganda. Une première en France. « Total va devoir combler les défaillances de son plan actuel, qui ne comprend aucune identification des risques ni mesures spécifiques concernant ses activités en Ouganda », précise Juliette Renaud, des Amis de la Terre.
Une mise en demeure vise #Total pour son activité en #Ouganda
#land #terres #paysans #amis_de_la_terre #survie
#ONG #pipeline #energie #afrique
« Total Ouganda sous-traite l’acquisition de terres nécessaires au projet, le déplacement et la réinstallation des communautés à Atacama Consulting. Or cette société exerce des menaces sur les paysans. Elle les contraint à céder leurs parcelles à un prix qui ne leur permet pas de se réinstaller loin du futur site d’exploitation et de ses nuisances et leur interdit de cultiver leur terre dès le contrat signé. Ces acquisitions forcées contreviennent aux conventions internationales et Total ne peut l’ignorer »
DR Congo Ebola outbreak: Child in Uganda diagnosed with virus
A five-year-old boy in Uganda has been diagnosed with Ebola, the World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed.
Ebola: dal Congo all’Uganda, il virus torna a far paura all’Africa
Il virus Ebola torna a terrorizzare la regione dei Grandi Laghi, in Africa. E a 5 anni dalla peggior crisi di sempre si torna a combattere contro la sua trasmissione in Repubblica democratica del Congo e Uganda. Esiste un vaccino, ma per essere utilizzato deve arrivare in condizioni complicate da rispettare in quelle zone
What it means to be a ‘refugee’ in South Sudan and Uganda
After decades of armed conflict in South Sudan and Uganda, labels of ‘refugee’ and ‘internally displaced person’ fail to reflect the complex realities of the people they refer to. Leben Moro examines the history of movement across the region’s borders, and argues refugees are not the passive recipients of aid as often presented by humanitarian initiatives.
Since independence from British colonial rule, large numbers of South Sudanese and Ugandans have repeatedly crossed the shared border to escape civil wars. These forced movements of large populations have created shifting labels of ‘refugees’ and ‘internally displaced persons’ (IDPs), with tremendous social, economic and political repercussions for the persons to which these labels are applied.
In August 1955, months before Sudan’s independence, the largely Christian Southern Sudanese took up arms against Muslim rulers in the North to achieve a vision of greater regional autonomy, which sparked a mass flight of people from their homes. By the end of the First Sudanese Civil War in 1972, the Sudanese government estimated that 500,000 people had hidden in the bush, and another 180,000 had crossed into neighbouring countries, with 74,000 settling in four official camps (Onigo, Agago, Acholpii and Nakapiripirit) in northern Uganda. Many of the displaced persons, including my own family members, self-settled in other parts of Uganda, mainly near cotton ginning mills and other businesses operated by Ugandans of Indian origin, who employed them as casual labourers.
My own family members settled near Gulu, the largest town in northern Uganda, among the Acholi ethnic group. Some South Sudanese journeyed southwards to Bwelye in the centre of Uganda, where there was plentiful fertile land and jobs in Indian enterprises. Others travelled further south into the heartland of the Baganda, the largest tribe in the country, to work in sugar plantations and different enterprises, including fields where locals grew coffee, bananas and other crops.
Over time, many newcomers acquired land with their earnings and became poll taxpayers. Their receipt documentation allowed them to move across land in relative safety. In general, however, life was hard as they lacked citizenship and were vulnerable to exploitation and harassment.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) coordinated a programme of official repatriation, supported by public authorities in Sudan and Uganda, including a mandate that supported Sudan’s IDPs. Many people, however, chose not to leave.
In 1979, Uganda became embroiled in a bitter civil war following the overthrow of President Idi Amin Dada, forcing Southern Sudanese, including my own family members, and many Ugandans from the north of the country, to flee into the relatively peaceful Southern Sudan. The UNHCR and other humanitarian organisations as well as public authorities in Sudan helped settle many refugees in camps, but some Ugandans settled among local people, initially without external support.
The relative peace in Southern Sudan was disrupted in 1983 when the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) was founded to lead another armed struggle against Sudan’s newly declared Islamic state under President Gaafar Nimeiry – which came to be known as the Second Sudanese Civil War. The violence forced Ugandan peoples living in Southern Sudan back into Uganda and many Southern Sudanese also made the crossing. Some of the refugees returned to locations they had lived in during the first civil war or joined relatives or friends who had remained in Uganda. People used their established networks.
The new wave of refugees received generous assistance from the UNHCR and the Ugandan government, whose policy was the settlement of refugees in camps and dedicated areas. Effectively, the policy redefined a refugee as ‘someone receiving assistance and living in a camp’. Many displaced Southern Sudanese avoided encampment, with its associated restrictions of movement, by self-settling among locals or dividing their family members or time between camps and outside locations.
As in the first civil war, many displaced persons in Southern Sudan did not cross international borders, but remained behind in dire circumstances. Their plight forced the United Nations to launch another initiative, Operation Lifeline Sudan, in the 1980s to assist those trapped in the war zone. This suffering formally ceased in 2005 with the conclusion of the much-lauded Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the Sudanese government and the SPLM/A, enabling the return of the IDPs to their original homes and refugees back to the country.
In 2011, Southern Sudan seceded from Sudan. About two years later, the world’s newest country relapsed into a vicious civil war. Sparked by divisions among the country’s key leaders, ethnic identities were subsequently exploited to mobilise fighters with devastating consequences for national unity and the wellbeing of civilians.
During the conflict, many Nuer people, an ethnic group primarily inhabiting South Sudan’s Nile Valley, fled into areas created on UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) bases, called Protection of Civilians Sites (PoCs), to escape killing by members of the Dinka, the largest ethnic group, who had effectively taken over the country with the support of Ugandan soldiers. Nuer fighters retaliated against Dinka civilians, forcing many to flee to the Uganda border and other locations.
Many South Sudanese headed north into the new Republic of Sudan, where public authorities labelled them ’arrivals’, a new term with no precedent in refugee policy or literature, and confined them to ‘waiting stations’. Uganda also received a large number of displaced persons, among them refugees placed in settlements with international assistance. Many displaced persons settled among locals without external assistance, thus avoiding the label of ‘refugee’.
What it means to be ‘refugees’ in Uganda
The 1951 Refugee Convention states a person becomes a refugee after crossing an internationally recognised border in search of protection, recognition and status by public authorities in the asylum country or the UNHCR. When the circumstances that forced the person to seek refuge cease to exist, the refugee re-avails themselves of the country’s protection they had fled. Thus defined concrete international borders are characterised as integral to becoming a refugee or ending refuge.
For South Sudanese displaced persons, the border between their country and Uganda is not a clearly defined line separating two jurisdictions. Many parts of the border are contested by ordinary people and public authorities on both sides. Consequently, people inhabiting locations along these contested areas are not always on peaceful terms despite often belonging to the same ethnic groups, such as the Acholi of South Sudan and Uganda.
Different ethnic groups that have seen clashes over contested territories have also been forced into settling in areas of close proximity following unrest in their respective homelands. My own research reveals the Kuku of Kajokeji in South Sudan were so suspicious of the Madi in the Ugandan Moyo district that, when they settled in the latter’s region, they avoided treatment in the Moyo hospital for fear of maltreatment by Madi medical personnel. The history of conflict over certain borders has a direct bearing on the welfare of refugees in the present.
Armed groups and criminals also operate along the border, posing serious security problems, with some people losing their lives at the hands of unknown gunmen. Despite this danger, refugees and other South Sudanese cross in and out of South Sudan for matters of family and livelihoods, such as to harvest crops in their old fields due to food shortages in their new home. Others return their deceased kin to bury them decently on their old compounds and, further, trips are made to the national capital, Juba, to visit relatives or deal with administrative issues.
These movements defy the legal meaning of ‘refugee’, who is supposed to return home when the threat of persecution that caused the flight is over. They demonstrate that refugees are not the passive and docile recipients of aid, as often presented, but active individuals who exercise agency. Studies remind us that were refugees only to eat the ‘food which is distributed to them, they would die’.
What it means to stay behind as an IDP
Because IDPs are citizens living in their native county they are entitled to the same rights and legal protections as fellow citizens as stipulated by the constitution. In reality, IDPs do not always enjoy citizenship rights because those in power consider them enemies or supporters of enemies.
During the second civil war, the Sudanese government branded IDPs as rebel supporters and subjected them to all kinds of punitive measures, including starvation and denial of basic services. Many IDPs consequently starved to death or died due to deadly diseases, such as kala azar, as the already rudimentary healthcare system in pre-war Southern Sudan was destroyed by repeated military bombardments as well as frequent obstructions of international humanitarian access.
When South Sudan gained independence and descended into civil war, IDPs did not fare any better. Following shocking atrocities and the continued risk of further violence, many Nuer civilians remain in PoCs on UNMISS bases under the protection of peacekeepers in refugee-like situations. Deprived of state protection, their situation has become worse than most refugees in South Sudan, deprioritised over the dominant Dinka.
The labels of ‘refugee’ and ‘internally displaced person’ do not reflect the experiences of most South Sudanese refugees in Uganda, and IDPs within South Sudan. These terms present refugees and IDPs as powerless recipients of aid when, in reality, refugees and IDPs are active agents in efforts to improve their situation. In some cases, they creatively manipulate borders and the systems in place to satisfy their basic needs.
It has been expressed that South Sudanese refugees have shown an extraordinary creativity and resourcefulness that can form a blueprint for future refugee assistance programmes. When ‘official legal categories rarely match realities on the ground’, aid workers should now appreciate and encourage the active involvement of refugees and IDPs to address the challenges that confront them.
Swiss scientists get water gushing in Uganda
In a refugee camp, one of the first challenges is usually water. But a Swiss project has helped one camp to find more.
The Geneva-based United Nations refugee agency has an obligation to provide enough water, and it often has to spend a lot of money trucking it in from elsewhere. But at #Bidi_Bidi camp in northern Uganda, a Swiss method has helped quadruple the water supply by finding more productive wells. So how does it work, and can it be applied elsewhere?
Asylum for sale: Refugees say some U.N. workers demand bribes for resettlement
A seven-month investigation found reports of U.N. staff members exploiting refugees desperate for a safe home in a new country.
Asylum for sale: Whistleblowers say U.N. refugee agency does not always address corruption
A seven-month investigation found reports of U.N. staff members exploiting refugees desperate for a safe home in a new country.
La réponse du HCR:
UNHCR strongly rejects widespread allegations against workforce
The following is UNHCR’s response to media following widespread allegations made against its workforce in a recent NBC press article.
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, strongly rejects the widespread allegations against its workforce in a recent press article, which risks jeopardizing the future of refugees in dire need of resettlement.
UNHCR is one of the biggest and most operational UN agencies, working in 138 countries and serving 68.5 million people. The overwhelmingly majority of our 16,000 personnel are deeply committed professionals, many of whom are working in difficult environments, sometimes risking their own safety.
As with other organizations, we are not immune to risk or failure on the part of individuals. This is why we have a solid safeguarding structure, which has been further strengthened in the last two years, and which we continuously seek to improve.
We are fully committed to ensuring the integrity of our programmes. Our workforce is also systematically reminded of the obligation to abide by the highest standards of conduct and to make sure that all their actions are free of any consideration of personal gain.
Every report or allegation of fraud, corruption or retaliation against refugees by UNHCR personnel or those working for our partners, is thoroughly assessed and, if substantiated, results in disciplinary sanctions, including summary dismissal from the organization.
Investigations at UNHCR on possible misconduct by our workforce are carried out by the Inspector General’s Office (IGO), which is an independent oversight body. It consists of expert investigators, with a strong background in law enforcement, military, war crimes tribunals or people who occupied similar functions in private companies and other international organizations. In recent years, additional investigators were recruited and some stationed in Nairobi, Pretoria and Bangkok enabling them to deploy rapidly and to have a better understanding of local contexts and issues.
UNHCR disciplinary measures have been reinforced, with a 60% rise in the number of disciplinary actions taken by the High Commissioner between 2017 and 2018. Referrals to national authorities are undertaken systematically in cases involving conduct that may amount to criminal conduct and waivers of immunity facilitated.
In addition, we have significantly strengthened our risk management capacity and skills in the past two years. We now have a solid network of some 300 risk officers, focal points and managers in our field operations and at HQ to help ensure that risks are properly identified and managed, that the integrity of our programmes is further enhanced and that the risk culture is reinforced across the organization.
The prevention of fraud, including identity fraud, is key to ensuring the integrity of our resettlement programme. This is why we use biometrics in registration, including iris scans and fingerprints, in the majority of refugee operations where we operate, including Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. Biometric registration makes theft of identity virtually impossible and biometric screening of refugees is done at various stages of the resettlement process, including right before departure. In other places, such as Libya and Yemen, where security conditions do not allow us to deploy such a tool, we take all possible preventive measures related to fraud.
We are acutely aware that refugees are at times approached by people trying to defraud them. For example, reports and investigations have found multiple occasions where people pose as UNHCR officials, using fake ID cards and claiming that they can influence the resettlement process. While it is impossible for UNHCR to root out ground level imposters, we have taken renewed action to raise awareness among refugees, help them recognize and report fraudsters, reminding them that all services provided by UNHCR and its partners are free.
Resettlement is highly sought after by refugees. UNHCR considered 1.2 million people to have resettlement needs in 2018 alone, while less than 60,000 people were resettled last year. In 2019, those needs further increased. The fact that the needs for resettlement are far greater than the places available is a factor that weighs heavily in favor of those wishing to exploit desperate refugees, many of whom have lived many years in refugee camps, with no foreseeable end to their plight in sight for themselves or their children.
UNHCR strives to ensure that refugees have proper means to provide feedback. This is essential to ensure their protection and the very reason why we completed last year a survey across 41 countries. We are using the information on the communication systems most commonly used by our beneficiaries – such as complaint boxes, hotlines, emails, social media and face to face interaction – and existing challenges to strengthen these mechanisms. In Kenya, for instance, refugees can report misconduct of any staff member of UNHCR, a partner or a contractor by email (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com), by filling in a webform (www.unhcr.org/php/complaints.php), by using complaints boxes that are available at all UNHCR offices or by calling our toll-free local Helpline (800720063).
UNHCR recognizes its responsibility to protect refugees, particularly those who come forward and cooperate with an investigation to root out misconduct. Significant attention has been devoted to strengthening measures to protect witnesses and people of concern who cooperate with an IGO investigation and these efforts are continuing. We have put a specific protocol in place, with steps taken during the investigation phase, including in the conduct of interviews, the anonymization of testimony and redaction of investigative findings and reports.
When it comes to our own staff being targeted, our record is clear: If a staff member is found to have retaliated against another member of our workforce for reporting wrongdoing, it leads to dismissal. We have a robust policy to protect staff members that are retaliated against. In September 2018, we issued a new policy on Protection against Retaliation, which now includes our affiliate workforce, expands the scope of the activities considered as protected and extends the timeline to report. It also provides interim measures to safeguard the interests of the complainant and strengthens corrective measures.
We also launched a confidential independent helpline available to all colleagues who wish to report misconduct or obtain advice on what to do when in doubt. This helpline is managed by an external provider and is available 24/7 by phone, through a web form and an app. It offers the possibility to report in complete anonymity.
We are committed to eradicating misconduct from our organization. If we receive pertinent information concerning alleged fraud, corruption or misconduct by a member of our workforce, we take action, and if the allegations are substantiated, act to end such inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour. UNHCR encourages anyone, including refugees and journalists, with information about suspected fraud or other wrongdoing to contact its Inspector General’s Office without delay at ▻http://www.unhcr.org/inspector-generals-office.html.
Education : needs, rights and access in displacement
Education is one of the most important aspects of our lives – vital to our development, our understanding and our personal and professional fulfilment throughout life. In times of crisis, however, millions of displaced young people miss out on months or years of education, and this is damaging to them and their families, as well as to their societies, both in the short and long term. This issue of FMR includes 29 articles on Education, and two ‘general’ articles.
Massive deforestation by refugees in Uganda sparks clashes with local people
Communities clash over natural resources as arrivals from South Sudan and DRC plunder environment for fuel and construction
Uganda must cancel a beauty contest that seeks to attract more visitors by showcasing “curvy women” because it objectifies women and promotes sex tourism, campaigners said on Thursday.
Tourism Minister Godfrey Kiwanda sparked outrage on Wednesday when he unveiled the “Miss Curvy Uganda” contest, saying the east African nation had “naturally endowed” women who should be used as “a strategy” to boost tourism.
Women’s rights activists, politicians, church leaders and ordinary Ugandans said the contest was “state-sponsored objectification of women” and was treating women as though they were wildlife. Some are calling on Kiwanda to resign.
More than 1,000 people have signed an online petition calling on the tourism ministry to abandon the pageant and apologise to the public.
“In Uganda, the ministry of tourism has added ’curvy women’ on the list of ’tourism attractions’. I personally feel attacked. This is degrading women,” said Primrose Murungi, an entrepreneur and activist who started the online petition.
Carte interactive : où sont les plus grands camps de réfugiés en #Afrique ?
Ils font la taille d’une grande ville et restent pourtant bien souvent introuvables sur une carte : les camps de réfugiés en Afrique abritent des centaines de milliers de migrants ayant fui leur pays pour diverses raisons. Loin de penser à venir en Europe, ils s’installent dans ces camps, pour quelques mois ou parfois pour la vie.
L’#Ouganda demeure à ce jour le pays accueillant le plus de réfugiés en Afrique avec 1,15 million de personnes. Pour autant, “la population recensée dans chaque camp individuellement ne coïncide pas réellement avec la hiérarchie des pays accueillant le plus de réfugiés”, précise le Haut-Commissariat des Nations unies pour les réfugiés (HCR) à InfoMigrants. En clair, certains pays comptent de gigantesques camps de réfugiés, mais pas le plus grand nombre de réfugiés sur leur sol. À l’inverse, d’autres pays recensent un nombre très important de réfugiés mais ces derniers sont répartis dans une multitude de camps de moindre taille.
Ainsi, bien que l’#Éthiopie compte plus de 900 000 réfugiés, ses camps ne sont pas les plus grands. "Par exemple, la région de #Malkadida dénombre 218 000 réfugiés somaliens, mais ils sont répartis sur 5 camps”, explique le HCR.
En #Ouganda, la colère des petits marchands face à « l’invasion » des Chinois
La #Chine est le principal #bailleur_de_fonds bilatéral pour les infrastructures en Afrique, avec un total excédant les financements combinés de la Banque africaine de développement, de l’Union européenne, de la Société financière internationale, de la Banque mondiale et du G8. L’investissement étranger chinois en Afrique subsaharienne s’est élevé à 298 milliards de dollars (environ 260 milliards d’euros) entre 2005 et 2018, selon le groupe de réflexion American Enterprise Institute.
Software spia, le nuove armi africane
Ufficialmente introdotti contro il terrorismo, sono usati anche per controllare dissidenti politici.
Almeno dal 2009 l’Egitto è tra i principali acquirenti di strumentazioni per la sorveglianza di massa. #Software intrusivi che si possono agganciare ai telefonini oppure alle mail e tracciare così i comportamenti di chiunque. Specialmente se considerato un nemico politico dal regime. Al Cairo, dopo la primavera araba, si è abbattuto un rigido inverno dei diritti: oppositori politici, sindacalisti, persino ricercatori universitari come Giulio Regeni sono stati fatti sparire, ammazzati o torturati. Per fare tutto questo, le agenzia di sicurezza hanno spiato i loro bersagli attraverso sistemi informatici. Tra le aziende, chi ha fatturato vendendo gli strumenti per spiare i nemici politici, c’è l’italiana #Hacking_Team, le cui mail sono state rese pubbliche da una maxi fuga di notizie nel luglio 2015.
L’Egitto non è l’unico paese africano a fare uso di questo tipo di tecnologie. In particolare in Africa, questo genere di strumenti per tenere sotto controllo la popolazione stanno diventando una costante. Sono l’ultima frontiera del mercato delle armi. Nemico ufficiale contro cui utilizzarle: il terrorismo, che si chiami Al Shabaab, Boko Haram, Isis. In pratica, da semplici persone “sospette” a dissidenti politici.
Una stima di Markets and Markets del 2014 prevede che per il 2019 il mercato delle “intercettazioni” varrà 1,3 miliardi di dollari. E accanto a questo corre un mercato nero dalle dimensioni inimmaginabili, dove ogni transazione avviene nel deep web, il doppio fondo del contenitore di internet. Senza bisogno di autorizzazioni, né di sistemi di licenze, come invece previsto dalle normative di tutto il mondo. I paesi africani sono tra i nuovi agguerriti compratori di queste armi 2.0, di fabbricazione per lo più israeliana ed europea.
La mappa degli spioni
L’utilizzo e la vendita di questi sistemi – proprio come per le armi – in diversi paesi è schermato dal segreto militare, nonostante il “duplice uso” (civile e militare) che possono avere questi strumenti. Detti, appunto, dual-use. L’inchiesta Security for Sale (▻https://irpi.eu/sicurezza-vendesi), condotta in febbraio da 22 giornalisti europei, ha individuato i principali importatori di tecnologie intrusive in Africa. La lista è lunga: oltre il Kenya, di cui Osservatorio Diritti ha già parlato, e l’Egitto, l’esempio più famoso, ci sono Libia (ancora sotto Gheddafi, ndr), Etiopia, Nigeria, Sudan, Sudafrica, Mauritania e Uganda.
#Kenya #Libye #Ethiopie #Nigeria #Soudan
In Mauritania è in carcere da due anni il cittadino italiano #Cristian_Provvisionato per una vendita di sistemi di intercettazione finita male. Provvisionato, una guardia giurata che non sarebbe mai stata in grado di vendere sistemi di questo genere, avrebbe dovuto presentare ai mauritani un sistema di intercettazione per Whatsapp, che la sua azienda – Vigilar – avrebbe a sua volta acquistato attraverso la società indiano-tedesca Wolf Intelligence. Bersaglio del sistema sarebbero dovuti essere terroristi attivi al confine mauritano, per quanto diverse organizzazioni internazionali abbiano sollevato riserve rispetto al possibile utilizzo di sistemi del genere in un paese che viola i diritti umani.
L’accusa nei confronti di Cristian Provvisionato, cioè truffa, non regge perché il cittadino italiano era all’oscuro, come è stato comprovato da più ricostruzioni giornalistiche, di ciò che stava presentando in Mauritania. Aveva accettato il lavoro perché gli era stato promesso che sarebbe stato veloce, pulito e con un buon guadagno. Invece si trova ancora dietro le sbarre. Per il caso Provvisionato la magistratura milanese ha aperto un’inchiesta che coinvolge anche #Vigilar e #Wolf_Intelligence. Il partner israeliano dei due è una delle aziende da sempre competitor di Hacking Team.
La stessa Hacking Team ha venduto ad altri regimi autoritari africani (scarica la ricerca del centro studi CitizenLab – università di Toronto). Il caso più clamoroso è quello dei servizi segreti del Sudan, che nel 2012, prima che entrasse in vigore qualunque embargo, hanno acquistato merce per 960 mila euro. Anche le Nazioni Unite, nel 2014, quando è entrato in vigore l’embargo con il Sudan, hanno fatto domande ad Hacking Team in merito alle relazioni commerciali con le forze d’intelligence militare del Paese.
Nello stesso 2012 una compagnia britannica aveva iniziato a vendere software intrusivi alle forze militari dell’Uganda. Era l’inizio di un’operazione di spionaggio di alcuni leader politici dell’opposizione che arrivava, denunciavano media locali nel 2015, fino al ricatto di alcuni di loro. Paese di fabbricazione del software spia, come spesso accade, Israele.
Il Sudafrica è un caso a sé: da un lato importatore, dall’altro esportatore di tecnologie-spia. Il primo fornitore di questo genere di software per il Sudafrica è la Gran Bretagna, mentre il mercato di riferimento a cui vendere è quello africano. Il Paese ha anche una propria azienda leader nel settore. Si chiama #VASTech e il suo prodotto di punta è #Zebra, un dispositivo in grado di intercettare chiamate vocali, sms e mms.
Nel 2013 Privacy International, un’organizzazione internazionale con base in Gran Bretagna che si occupa di privacy e sorveglianza di massa, ha scoperto una fornitura di questo software alla Libia di Gheddafi, nel 2011, nel periodo in cui è stato registrato il picco di attività di spionaggio (dato confermato da Wikileaks). Eppure, dal 2009 al 2013 solo 48 potenziale contravvenzioni sono finite sotto indagine del Ncac, l’ente governativo preposto a questo genere di controlli.
Il settore, però, nello stesso lasso di tempo ha avuto un boom incredibile, arrivando nel solo 2012 a 4.407 licenze di esportazione per 94 paesi in totale. Il mercato vale circa 8 miliardi di euro. In Sudafrica sono in corso proteste per chiedere le dimissioni del presidente Jacob Zuma, coinvolto in diversi casi di corruzione e ormai considerato impresentabile. È lecito pensare che anche questa volta chi manifesta sia tenuto sotto osservazione da sistemi di sorveglianza.
Security for sale
The European Union has deep pockets when it comes to security. Major defense contractors and tech giants compete for generous subsidies, to better protect us from crime and terrorism. At least that’s the idea. But who really benefits? The public or the security industry itself?
Over the past year, we’ve worked with more than twenty journalists in eleven European countries to investigate this burgeoning sector. We quickly discovered that the European security industry is primarily taking good care of itself – often at the expense of the public.
In this crash course Security for Sale, we bring you up to speed on EU policy makers and industry big shots who’ve asserted themselves as “managers of unease,” on the lobbies representing major defense companies, on the billions spent on security research, and on the many ethical issues surrounding the European security industry.
“Security for sale” is a journalistic project coordinated by Dutch newspaper De Correspondent and IRPI collaborated for the Italian context. The webportal of “Security for Sale” collects all articles produced within the project in several languages.
Lawful Interception Market worth $1,342.4 Million by 2019
The report “Lawful Interception Market by Network Technologies and Devices ( VOIP, LTE, WLAN, WIMAX, DSL, PSTN, ISDN, CDMA, GSM, GPRS, Mediation Devices, Routers, Management Servers); Communication Content; End Users - Global Advancement, Worldwide Forecast & Analysis (2014-2019)” defines and segments the LI market on the basis of devices, network technologies, communication content, and services with in-depth analysis and forecasting of revenues. It also identifies drivers and restraints for this market with insights on trends, opportunities, and challenges.
Browse 80 market tables and 23 figures spread through 177 pages and in-depth TOC on “Lawful Interception Market by Network Technologies and Devices ( VOIP, LTE, WLAN, WIMAX, DSL, PSTN, ISDN, CDMA, GSM, GPRS, Mediation Devices, Routers, Management Servers); Communication Content; End Users - Global Advancement, Worldwide Forecast & Analysis (2014-2019)”
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Lawful Interception (LI) has been proven to be very helpful for the security agencies or Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) for combating terrorism and criminal activities. Across the world, countries have adopted such legislative regulations and made it compulsory for the operators to make LI-enabled communication network. Since the advancement of communication channels and network technologies over the period of time, the interception techniques have also enhanced for variety of communications such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), web-traffic, Electronic Mail (Email), and more. Now, the interception is possible for all networks that deliver voice, data, and Internet services.
Sophisticated communication channels and advanced network technologies are the major driving factors for the LI market. Nowadays, communication can be done in various forms such as voice, text, video, and many more. To transfer these types of data, network technologies need to constantly upgrade. The different types of network technologies that can be intercepted are VoIP, LTE, WLAN, WiMax, DSL, PSTN, ISDN, CDMA, GSM, and GPRS, are discussed in this report.
MarketsandMarkets has broadly segmented the LI market by devices such as management servers, mediation devices, Intercept Access Points (IAP), switches, routers, gateways, and Handover Interfaces (HIs). The LI market is also segmented on the basis of communication contents and networking technology. By regions: North America (NA), Europe (EU), Asia Pacific (APAC), Middle East and Africa (MEA), and Latin America (LA).
The LI market is expected to grow at a rapid pace in the regional markets of APAC and MEA. The investments in security in APAC and MEA are attracting the players operating in the LI market. These regions would also be the highest revenue generating markets in the years to come. Considerable growth is expected in the NA and European LI markets. New wireless network and network technologies like LTE, WiMax, NGN, and many more are expected to be the emerging technological trends in the LI market.
MarketsandMarkets forecasts the Lawful Interception market to grow from $251.5 million in 2014 to $1,342.4 million by 2019. In terms of regions, North America and Europe are expected to be the biggest markets in terms of revenue contribution, while Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa, and Latin America are expected to experience increased market traction, during the forecast period.
MarketsandMarkets is a global market research and consulting company based in the U.S. We publish strategically analyzed market research reports and serve as a business intelligence partner to Fortune 500 companies across the world.
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Antiterrorismo con licenza d’uccidere
Kenya osservato speciale: le ong parlano di vittime, sparizioni e intercettazioni diffuse.
Da gennaio a ottobre 2016 in Kenya sono state uccise dalle forze dell’ordine 177 persone. Lo scrive nel suo rapporto annuale 2016/2017 la ong Amnesty international. Uccisioni stragiudiziali per mano delle cosiddette Kenyan Death Squads, gli squadroni della morte in azione contro presunti terroristi. A risalire la catena di comando, si arriva fino ai piani alti del governo, come aveva raccontato Al Jazeera in un’inchiesta del 2015.
Il Kenya ha conosciuto il terrorismo di matrice jihadista alla fine del 1998, all’epoca della prima bomba all’ambasciata americana di Nairobi: un attentato che ha lanciato nel mondo il marchio Al Qaeda. Il Paese è passato attraverso centinaia di attentati e oggi il terrorismo si chiama Al-Shabaab (leggi “Al-Shabaab avanza in Somalia”). Ma i presunti terroristi sono solo una parte delle vittime degli squadroni della morte: anche avvocati, attivisti e oppositori politici sono finiti sulla lista dei torturati e uccisi. Fare leva sulla paura dei cittadini, in Kenya, è facile.
Dal 2010 al 2015 si ha notizia di almeno 500 persone fatte sparire da questi nuclei interni di alcuni corpi speciali delle forze dell’ordine del Kenya. Operazioni supervisionate dal Nis, i servizi segreti, svolte poi da agenti della Criminal investigation division (Cid), oppure dall’unità Recce o ancora dalle Kenyan Defence Forces. «Si potrebbero chiamare “morti accettabili”», dice un ufficiale dei servizi segreti kenyoti intervistato sulla vicenda da un ricercatore della ong Privacy International.
E l’argomento “terrorismo” è sufficiente a giustificare un sistema d’intercettazioni persistente, dove non esiste comunicazione che non sia tracciata, né supporti informatici che le forze dell’ordine non possano acquisire. Tutto il meccanismo per rintracciare “i nemici” passerebbe dalle comunicazioni telefoniche, ignorando qualunque norma costituzionale kenyota. «Gli ufficiali che abbiamo intervistato hanno ammesso che spesso si finisce sotto intercettazione per motivi politici e non solo per presunte attività di terrorismo», continua il ricercatore di Privacy International che ha curato il report “Traccia, cattura, uccidi” (per motivi di sicurezza, non è possibile rivelare il suo nome).
Le forze speciali del Kenya avrebbero una presenza stabile all’interno delle compagnie telefoniche del paese. «Agenti Nis sono informalmente presenti nelle strutture per le telecomunicazioni, apparentemente sotto copertura», si legge nel rapporto. Elementi che sarebbero stati confermati da dipendenti di compagnie telefoniche e agenti. «I dipendenti hanno paura che negare l’accesso possa avere delle ripercussioni», aggiunge il ricercatore.
Safaricom è la più importante compagnia telefonica del paese: controlla oltre il 60% del mercato della telefonia kenyota. Azionista di maggioranza è Vodafone e secondo il rapporto al suo interno ci sarebbero dieci agenti della Cid. Attraverso un’interfaccia, avrebbero libero accesso al database interno in cui sono registrate telefonate, proprietari, transazioni monetarie attraverso la rete mobile. Un universo.
Questo è quello che raccontano le fonti interne scovate da Privacy International. Mentre Safaricom, ufficialmente, nega questo flusso di informazioni. L’amministratore delegato di Safaricom, Bob Collymore, tra gli uomini più ricchi del Kenya, ha risposto alla ong sostenendo che la sua azienda «non ha relazioni con Nis riferite alla sorveglianza delle comunicazioni in Kenya e non ci sono ufficiali Nis impiegati nell’azienda, ufficialmente o sotto copertura».
Il Kenya acquista all’estero le strumentazioni di cui è dotato il sistema di intercettazioni in funzione nel paese. «Le fonti a cui abbiamo avuto accesso nominavano aziende inglesi ed israeliane, ma non sanno come funziona l’acquisto degli strumenti per intercettazioni», aggiunge il ricercatore di Privacy International. Gli strumenti più diffusi sono i famosi IMSI Catcher. All’apparenza, delle semplice valigette con un involucro nero all’estero, rinforzato. In realtà sono delle antenne attraverso cui è possibile intercettare telefonate effettuate nel raggio di circa 300 metri.
Ci sono poi anche software intrusivi, che agganciano il telefono una volta che l’utente apre uno specifico messaggio via Sms o WhatsApp. Nel 2015 le rivelazioni su Hacking Team, l’azienda milanese che vendeva in mezzo mondo dei software spia, avevano permesso di scoprire anche trattative in corso con forze speciali del Kenya. Gli obiettivi dello spionaggio sarebbero stati uomini legati all’opposizione.
Who’s Watching Little Brother? A Checklist for Accountability in the Industry Behind Government Hacking
Rwandan refugees in Uganda may be thrown out – Minister Onek
The government of Uganda is considering cancelling the refugee status of thousands of Rwandans living in Uganda.
The announcement was made by the Minister for Relief, Disaster Preparedness and Refugees Hillary Onek while meeting lawmakers of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) in Kampala.
He explained that government is considering cancelling their refugee status and instead issuing them with temporary permits.
“We are going to turn them over to the immigration department so that their long stay in Uganda will be subjected to immigration laws because immigration laws in Uganda say that you are given a #visa to stay for three months. Thereafter you have to justify your further stay in a country,” Mr Onek said.
The minister said that the process of convincing Rwandans to return home has not been easy as many are not willing to do so.
Hundreds of thousands of Rwandans fled to Uganda following the 1994 genocide.
Rwanda has generally been peaceful for over 20 years and many Rwandese who had fled have since returned to their home country.
But government says there are still over 14000 Rwandans still living in Uganda as refugees.
#réfugiés_rwandais #ouganda #asile #migrations #réfugiés #modèle_ougandais (?) #statut_de_réfugié #renvois #expulsions
Abuses against Rwandan refugees in Uganda: Has Time Come for Accountability?
For many years, Rwandan refugees in Uganda have faced abuses, including arbitrary detention, forced return to Rwanda and attacks on their physical security, without any form of accountability. However, last Friday, 24 August, former Inspector-General of the Ugandan police, General Kale Kayihura, has been charged with aiding and abetting the kidnapping and repatriation of Rwandan refugees, amongst other charges. In October last year, other security officers had already been arrested and indicted under similar charges. Is it finally time for justice?
The case of Joel Mutabazi
Kayihura is accused of aiding and abetting the kidnapping of Rwandan refugees Joel Mutabazi, Jackson Karemera and Innocent Kalisa by Ugandan police officers. Six Ugandan police officers, one Rwandan security officer and one Congolese individual are on trial for their involvement in the abduction and forced return of Mutabazi. A senior police who had been arrested earlier in connection to this case has since been released.
Joel Mutabazi, a former bodyguard of Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, had been arrested in April 2010 in Rwanda and detained and tortured in military custody for his suspected links with opposition groups. After he was released in October 2011, Mutabazi fled to Uganda, where he was granted refugee status. In 2013, he was abducted from a UNHCR safe house near Uganda’s capital Kampala, and taken back to Rwanda. Mutabazi’s whereabouts were unknown for several days, until the Rwandan police stated that he was in their custody. UNHCR, which failed to protect Mutabazi, expressed its concern over the breach of the principle of non-refoulement and called for accountability.
In 2014, a Rwandan military court sentenced Mutabazi to life in prison, including for forming an armed group and for terrorism. His younger brother, Jackson Karemera, and another co-accused, Innocent Kalisa, also lived in Uganda before the trial and were themselves abducted back to Rwanda. They were sentenced respectively to four months and 25 years in prison. Karemera was rearrested after his release, his family hasn’t heard from him since. All three said during the trial they had been tortured in detention in Rwanda, but the court did not order an investigation into those allegations.
Abuses against Rwandan refugees
The illegal transfer of Mutabazi and his co-accused to Rwanda was not an isolated case. Over the years, including more recently, International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI) has received several reports about threats, illegal arrests, attacks and forced returns of Rwandan refugees in Uganda. Many of such cases remain unreported, given the secrecy surrounding such abuses and the fear of reprisals, and are difficult to confirm. A few examples include:
In July 2010, Rwandan refugees were forcibly removed en masse from refugee settlements in south-western Uganda to Rwanda. Ugandan police officers used live rounds, wounding several in the process, to force refugees onto buses which dropped them in Rwanda.
In November 2011, Charles Ingabire, a Rwandan journalist, was murdered when he left a bar in Kampala. He was a fierce government critic who had obtained refugee status in Uganda. An investigation was opened, but to date, nobody has been charged for involvement in this crime.
In 2017, according to judicial documents, a Rwandan refugee was illegally detained for almost two months in Kireka police station in Kampala, and threatened with return to Rwanda, on the basis of his alleged involvement in the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Rwanda and Uganda do not have an extradition treaty. He was never charged and was eventually released.
Multiple sources confirmed to IRRI that on 20 December 2017, five Rwandan nationals were arrested in Mbarara, and one in Kampala. They were detained incommunicado for several days and allegedly tortured. Five of them were driven to the border with Rwanda nine days later and deported. According to Uganda’s army spokesperson, one was not deported because of her refugee status, and remained in incommunicado detention.
In addition to abuses against refugees, there have been several allegations, in the past year, of abuses against Rwandan nationals residing in Uganda. According to several sources, two Rwandan citizens were arrested in Uganda, respectively on 9 November 2017 and 3 January 2018, and detained incommunicado before being sent back to Rwanda. The first says he was tortured, which was confirmed to IRRI by a source knowledgeable about the case on 24 January 2018: “He was beaten up and tortured… and dumped at the border with Rwanda. He couldn’t walk and barely could talk.” The other man also reported to the media that he was tortured before being taken to the border with Rwanda.
For none of these cases has there been any apparent effort to provide meaningful accountability. Other reports have been difficult to verify, but as a consequence of such events, Rwandan refugees in Uganda continue to fear for their safety. Rwanda and Uganda have had close but turbulent bilateral relations in recent years, and many connections remain between individuals within the countries security services. There have, however, been reports that relations between the two countries have deteriorated.
Many interpreted the decision by Uganda, in early 2018, not to invoke a cessation clause against the more than 15,000 Rwandan refugees still currently living in Uganda as an illustration of this dynamic. This cessation clause, if invoked, would have forced refugees who fled Rwanda before 31 December 1998 to return to Rwanda, reapply for refugee protection or acquire citizenship in their country of exile. Seven countries have already begun implementing the cessation clause.
Concerns about right to a fair trial
While the arrested officers have themselves been accused of involvement in human rights violations, their own right to a fair trial and lawful detention seemed to have also been in jeopardy since their arrest. The arrest of General Kale Kayihura seems to have violated legal provisions on judicial review and detention terms. According to judicial documents and interviews with several people knowledgeable of the case, at least one of the accused in the trial against senior police officials has been detained incommunicado and tortured, in an attempt to extract testimony against other senior figures. Court documents show that the court told a bail applicant to edit out details of torture, but on 31 January 2018 a judge ordered an investigation into torture allegations. There have also been concerns about the prosecution of civilian suspects in a military court, a common practice in Uganda, and about settling scores within the security apparatus.
These trials against former senior Ugandan security officials could send a welcome signal to Rwandan refugees that abuses against them will be no longer tolerated. But justice can only be done if arrests and trials are conducted in accordance with standards in Ugandan and international law. More efforts must be done to end ongoing abuses against Rwandan refugees, and bring all perpetrators to account.
Uganda’s refugee policies: the history, the politics, the way forward
Uganda’s refugee policy urgently needs an honest discussion, if sustainable solutions for both refugees and host communities are to be found, a new policy paper by International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI) reveals.
The paper, entitled Uganda’s refugee policies: the history, the politics, the way forward puts the “Ugandan model” in its historical and political context, shines a spotlight on its implementation gaps, and proposes recommendations for the way forward.
Uganda has since 2013 opened its borders to hundreds of thousands of refugees from South Sudan, bringing the total number of refugees to more than one million. It has been praised for its positive steps on freedom of movement and access to work for refugees, going against the global grain. But generations of policy, this paper shows, have only entrenched the sole focus on refugee settlements and on repatriation as the only viable durable solution. Support to urban refugees and local integration have been largely overlooked.
The Ugandan refugee crisis unfolded at the same time as the UN adopted the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, and states committed to implement a Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF). Uganda immediately seized this opportunity and adopted its own strategy to implement these principles. As the world looks to Uganda for best practices in refugee policy, and rightly so, it is vital to understand the gaps between rhetoric and reality, and the pitfalls of Uganda’s policy. This paper identifies the following challenges:
There is a danger that the promotion of progressive refugee policies becomes more rhetoric than reality, creating a smoke-screen that squeezes out meaningful discussion about robust alternatives. Policy-making has come at the expense of real qualitative change on the ground.
Refugees in urban areas continue to be largely excluded from any support due to an ongoing focus on refugee settlements, including through aid provision
Local integration and access to citizenship have been virtually abandoned, leaving voluntary repatriation as the only solution on the table. Given the protracted crises in South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo, this remains unrealistic.
Host communities remain unheard, with policy conversations largely taking place in Kampala and Geneva. Many Ugandans and refugees have neither the economic resources nor sufficient political leverage to influence the policies that are meant to benefit them.
The policy paper proposes a number of recommendations to improve the Ugandan refugee model:
First, international donors need to deliver on their promise of significant financial support.
Second, repatriation cannot remain the only serious option on the table. There has to be renewed discussion on local integration with Uganda communities and a dramatic increase in resettlement to wealthier states across the globe.
Third, local communities hosting refugees must be consulted and their voices incorporated in a more meaningful and systematic way, if tensions within and between communities are to be avoided.
Fourth, in order to genuinely enhance refugee self-reliance, the myth of the “local settlement” needs to be debunked and recognized for what it is: the ongoing isolation of refugees and the utilization of humanitarian assistance to keep them isolated and dependent on aid.
A New Deal for Refugees
Global policies that aim to resettle and integrate displaced populations into local societies is providing a way forward.
For many years now, groups that work with refugees have fought to put an end to the refugee camp. It’s finally starting to happen.
Camps are a reasonable solution to temporary dislocation. But refugee crises can go on for decades. Millions of refugees have lived in their country of shelter for more than 30 years. Two-thirds of humanitarian assistance — intended for emergencies — is spent on crises that are more than eight years old.
Camps are stagnant places. Refugees have access to water and medical care and are fed and educated, but are largely idle. “You keep people for 20 years in camps — don’t expect the next generation to be problem-free,” said Xavier Devictor, who advises the World Bank on refugee issues. “Keeping people in those conditions is not a good idea.” It’s also hard to imagine a better breeding ground for terrorists.
“As long as the system is ‘we feed you,’ it’s always going to be too expensive for the international community to pay for,” Mr. Devictor said. It’s gotten more and more difficult for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to raise that money; in many crises, the refugee agency can barely keep people from starving. It’s even harder now as nations turn against foreigners — even as the number of people fleeing war and violence has reached a record high.
At the end of last year, nearly 70 million people were either internally displaced in their own countries, or had crossed a border and become a refugee. That is the largest number of displaced in history — yes, more than at the end of World War II. The vast majority flee to neighboring countries — which can be just as badly off.
Last year, the United States accepted about 30,000 refugees.
Uganda, which is a global model for how it treats refugees, has one-seventh of America’s population and a tiny fraction of the wealth. Yet it took in 1,800 refugees per day between mid-2016 and mid-2017 from South Sudan alone. And that’s one of four neighbors whose people take refuge in Uganda.
Bangladesh, already the world’s most crowded major nation, has accepted more than a million Rohingya fleeing ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. “If we can feed 160 million people, then (feeding) another 500,00-700,000 …. We can do it. We can share our food,” Shiekh Hasina, Bangladesh’s prime minister, said last year.
Lebanon is host to approximately 1.5 million Syrian refugees, in addition to a half-million Palestinians, some of whom have been there for generations. One in three residents of Lebanon is a refugee.
The refugee burden falls heavily on a few, poor countries, some of them at risk of destabilization, which can in turn produce more refugees. The rest of the world has been unwilling to share that burden.
But something happened that could lead to real change: Beginning in 2015, hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees crossed the Mediterranean in small boats and life rafts into Europe.
Suddenly, wealthy European countries got interested in fixing a broken system: making it more financially viable, more dignified for refugees, and more palatable for host governments and communities.
In September 2016, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously passed a resolution stating that all countries shared the responsibility of protecting refugees and supporting host countries. It also laid out a plan to move refugees out of camps into normal lives in their host nations.
Donor countries agreed they would take more refugees and provide more long-term development aid to host countries: schools, hospitals, roads and job-creation measures that can help both refugees and the communities they settle in. “It looked at refugee crises as development opportunities, rather than a humanitarian risk to be managed,” said Marcus Skinner, a policy adviser at the International Rescue Committee.
The General Assembly will vote on the specifics next month (whatever they come up with won’t be binding). The Trump administration pulled out of the United Nations’ Global Compact on Migration, but so far it has not opposed the refugee agreement.
There’s a reason refugee camps exist: Host governments like them. Liberating refugees is a hard sell. In camps, refugees are the United Nations’ problem. Out of camps, refugees are the local governments’ problem. And they don’t want to do anything to make refugees comfortable or welcome.
Bangladesh’s emergency response for the Rohingya has been staggeringly generous. But “emergency” is the key word. The government has resisted granting Rohingya schooling, work permits or free movement. It is telling Rohingya, in effect, “Don’t get any ideas about sticking around.”
This attitude won’t deter the Rohingya from coming, and it won’t send them home more quickly. People flee across the closest border — often on foot — that allows them to keep their families alive. And they’ll stay until home becomes safe again. “It’s the simple practicality of finding the easiest way to refuge,” said Victor Odero, regional advocacy coordinator for East Africa and the Horn of Africa at the International Rescue Committee. “Any question of policies is a secondary matter.”
So far, efforts to integrate refugees have had mixed success. The first experiment was a deal for Jordan, which was hosting 650,000 Syrian refugees, virtually none of whom were allowed to work. Jordan agreed to give them work permits. In exchange, it got grants, loans and trade concessions normally available only to the poorest countries.
However, though the refugees have work permits, Jordan has put only a moderate number of them into jobs.
Any agreement should include the views of refugees from the start — the Jordan Compact failed to do this. Aid should be conditioned upon the right things. The deal should have measured refugee jobs, instead of work permits. Analysts also said the benefits should have been targeted more precisely, to reach the areas with most refugees.
To spread this kind of agreement to other nations, the World Bank established a $2 billion fund in July 2017. The money is available to very poor countries that host many refugees, such as Uganda and Bangladesh. In return, they must take steps to integrate refugees into society. The money will come as grants and zero interest loans with a 10-year grace period. Middle-income countries like Lebanon and Colombia would also be eligible for loans at favorable rates under a different fund.
Over the last 50 years, only one developing country has granted refugees full rights. In Uganda, refugees can live normally. Instead of camps there are settlements, where refugees stay voluntarily because they get a plot of land. Refugees can work, live anywhere, send their children to school and use the local health services. The only thing they can’t do is become Ugandan citizens.
Given the global hostility to refugees, it is remarkable that Ugandans still approve of these policies. “There have been flashes of social tension or violence between refugees and their hosts, mostly because of a scarcity of resources,” Mr. Odero said. “But they have not become widespread or protracted.”
This is the model the United Nations wants the world to adopt. But it is imperiled even in Uganda — because it requires money that isn’t there.
The new residents are mainly staying near the South Sudan border in Uganda’s north — one of the least developed parts of the country. Hospitals, schools, wells and roads were crumbling or nonexistent before, and now they must serve a million more people.
Joël Boutroue, the head of the United Nations refugee agency in Uganda, said current humanitarian funding covered a quarter of what the crisis required. “At the moment, not even half of refugees go to primary school,” he said. “There are around 100 children per classroom.”
Refugees are going without food, medical care and water. The plots of land they get have grown smaller and smaller.
Uganda is doing everything right — except for a corruption scandal. It could really take advantage of the new plan to develop the refugee zone. That would not only help refugees, it would help their host communities. And it would alleviate growing opposition to rights for refugees. “The Ugandan government is under pressure from politicians who see the government giving favored treatment to refugees,” Mr. Boutroue said. “If we want to change the perception of refugees from recipients of aid to economic assets, we have to showcase that refugees bring development.”
The World Bank has so far approved two projects — one for water and sanitation and one for city services such as roads and trash collection. But they haven’t gotten started yet.
Mr. Devictor said that tackling long-term development issues was much slower than providing emergency aid. “The reality is that it will be confusing and confused for a little while,” he said. Water, for example, is trucked in to Uganda’s refugee settlements, as part of humanitarian aid. “That’s a huge cost,” he said. “But if we think this crisis is going to last for six more months, it makes sense. If it’s going to last longer, we should think about upgrading the water system.”
Most refugee crises are not surprises, Mr. Devictor said. “If you look at a map, you can predict five or six crises that are going to produce refugees over the next few years.” It’s often the same places, over and over. That means developmental help could come in advance, minimizing the burden on the host. “Do we have to wait until people cross the border to realize we’re going to have an emergency?” he said.
Well, we might. If politicians won’t respond to a crisis, it’s hard to imagine them deciding to plan ahead to avert one. Political commitment, or lack of it, always rules. The world’s new approach to refugees was born out of Europe’s panic about the Syrians on their doorstep. But no European politician is panicking about South Sudanese or Rohingya refugees — or most crises. They’re too far away. The danger is that the new approach will fall victim to the same political neglect that has crippled the old one.
avec ce commentaire de #Jeff_Crisp sur twitter :
“Camps are stagnant places. Refugees have access to water and medical care and are fed and educated, but are largely idle.”
Has this prizewinning author actually been to a refugee camp?
Appreciating Uganda’s ‘open door’ policy for refugees
While the rest of the world is nervous and choosing to take an emotional position on matters of forced migration and refugees, sometimes closing their doors in the face of people who are running from persecution, Uganda’s refugee policy and practice continues to be liberal, with an open door to all asylum seekers, writes Arthur Matsiko
Is Uganda the best place to be a refugee?
The country’s unusual open policy gives refugees land, education and a chance to work – but instability in neighbouring nations is putting pressure on resources
Why Uganda is a model for dealing with refugees
Uganda’s population of some 500,000 refugees can work, vote and start businesses
Uganda farming classes transform refugees into entrepreneurs
Trained to expand their rice and pepper harvests, Congolese refugees in Uganda use earnings to start new businesses and become more self-reliant.
Uganda : An Oasis Of Light For Refugees Fleeing War
PAGRINYA REFUGEE SETTLEMENT, Uganda – Ayen looked directly into my eyes as she gripped her children’s hands tightly, calmly recounting the moment she was forced to flee her home in South Sudan in the middle of the night after rebels murdered her husband and eldest son in her presence.
The Reality Behind Uganda’s Refugee Model
Uganda has been hailed as a world leader in dealing with refugees. African Great Lakes expert David Kigozi argues that praise for progressive policies must be tempered with the harsher reality that many refugees actually experience in the country.
Is Uganda the world’s best place for refugees?
Once refugees themselves, Ugandans look to ‘return the good’ to people fleeing war in South Sudan by offering land and help
The refugee scandal unfolding in Uganda
Uganda, the country with the world’s fastest growing refugee burden, is failing to secure the help it needs to care for those forced across the border from South Sudan by war and hunger.
How can countries help refugees while also raising their GDP? Let them work.
Uganda is an eye-opening example of how displaced people can lift up a nation, say economics professor Paul Collier and refugee researcher Alexander Betts.
Ouganda. La générosité intéressée du pays le plus ouvert du monde aux réfugiés
L’Ouganda est le pays qui accueille le plus de réfugiés. Un million de Sud-Soudanais fuyant la guerre s’y sont installés. Mais cette noble intention des autorités cache aussi des calculs moins avouables : l’arrivée massive de l’aide internationale encourage l’inaction et la #corruption.
Refugees in Uganda to benefit from Dubai-funded schools but issues remain at crowded settlement
Dubai Cares is building three classrooms in a primary school at Ayilo II but the refugee settlement lacks a steady water supply, food and secondary schools, Roberta Pennington writes from Adjumani
FUGA DAL SUD SUDAN. LUIS, L’UGANDA E QUEL PEZZO DI TERRA DONATA AI PROFUGHI
Luis zappa, prepara dei fori per tirare su una casa in attesa di ritrovare la sua famiglia. Il terreno è una certezza, glielo ha consegnato il Governo ugandese. Il poterci vivere con i suoi cari non ancora. L’ultima volta li ha visti in Sud Sudan. Nel ritornare a casa sua moglie e i suoi otto figli non c’erano più. É sicuro si siano messi in cammino verso l’Uganda, così da quel giorno è iniziata la sua rincorsa. É certo che li ritroverà nella terra che ora lo ha accolto. Quella di Luis è una delle tante storie raccolte nei campi profughi del nord dell’Uganda, in una delle ultime missioni di Amref, in cui era presente anche Giusi Nicolini, già Sindaco di Lampedusa e Premio Unesco per la pace.
Modello Uganda? Dell’Uganda il mondo dice «campione di accoglienza». Accoglienza che sta sperimentando da mesi nei confronti dei profughi sud sudanesi, che scappano da uno dei Paesi più drammaticamente in crisi al mondo. Sono 4 milioni le persone che in Sud Sudan hanno dovuto lasciare le proprie case. Chi muovendosi verso altri Paesi e chi in altre regioni sud sudanesi. In questi ultimi tempi arrivano in Uganda anche persone che fuggono dalla Rep. Democratica del Congo.
As Rich Nations Close the Door on Refugees, Uganda Welcomes Them
President Trump is vowing to send the military to stop migrants trudging from Central America. Europe’s leaders are paying African nations to block migrants from crossing the Mediterranean — and detaining the ones who make it in filthy, overcrowded camps.
But Solomon Osakan has a very different approach in this era of rising xenophobia. From his uncluttered desk in northwest Uganda, he manages one of the largest concentrations of refugees anywhere in the world: more than 400,000 people scattered across his rural district.
He explained what he does with them: Refugees are allotted some land — enough to build a little house, do a little farming and “be self-sufficient,” said Mr. Osakan, a Ugandan civil servant. Here, he added, the refugees live in settlements, not camps — with no barbed wire, and no guards in sight.
“You are free, and you can come and go as you want,” Mr. Osakan added.
As many nations are securing their borders and turning refugees away, Uganda keeps welcoming them. And they keep coming, fleeing catastrophes from across this part of Africa.
In all, Uganda has as many as 1.25 million refugees on its soil, perhaps more, making it one of the most welcoming countries in the world, according to the United Nations.
And while Uganda’s government has made hosting refugees a core national policy, it works only because of the willingness of rural Ugandans to accept an influx of foreigners on their land and shoulder a big part of the burden.
Uganda is not doing this without help. About $200 million in humanitarian aid to the country this year will largely pay to feed and care for the refugees. But they need places to live and small plots to farm, so villages across the nation’s north have agreed to carve up their communally owned land and share it with the refugees, often for many years at a time.
“Our population was very few and our community agreed to loan the land,” said Charles Azamuke, 27, of his village’s decision in 2016 to accept refugees from South Sudan, which has been torn apart by civil war. “We are happy to have these people. We call them our brothers.”
United Nations officials have pointed to Uganda for its “open border” policy. While the United States, a much more populous nation, has admitted more than three million refugees since 1975, the American government settles them in the country after they have first been thoroughly screened overseas.
By contrast, Uganda has essentially opened its borders to refugees, rarely turning anyone away.
Some older Ugandans explain that they, too, had been refugees once, forced from their homes during dictatorship and war. And because the government ensures that spending on refugees benefits Ugandans as well, younger residents spoke of how refugees offered them some unexpected opportunities.
“I was a farmer. I used to dig,” Mr. Azamuke said. But after learning Arabic from refugees from South Sudan, he got a better job — as a translator at a new health clinic that serves the newcomers.
His town, Ofua, is bisected by a dirt road, with the Ugandans living on the uphill side and the South Sudanese on the downhill side. The grass-thatched homes of the Ugandans look a bit larger and sturdier, but not much.
As the sun began to set one recent afternoon, a group of men on the Ugandan side began to pass around a large plastic bottle of waragi, a home brew. On the South Sudanese side, the men were sober, gathered around a card game.
On both sides, the men had nothing but tolerant words for one another. “Actually, we don’t have any problems with these people,” said Martin Okuonzi, a Ugandan farmer cleaning his fingernails with a razor blade.
As the men lounged, the women and girls were still at work, preparing dinner, tending children, fetching water and gathering firewood. They explained that disputes did arise, especially as the two groups competed for limited resources like firewood.
“We’ve been chased away,” said Agnes Ajonye, a 27-year-old refugee from South Sudan. “They say we are destroying their forests.”
And disputes broke out at the well, where Ugandan women insist they should be allowed to skip ahead of refugees.
“If we hadn’t given you the land you live on, wouldn’t you be dying in Sudan?” said Adili Chandia, a 62-year-old refugee, recounting the lecture she and others got from a frustrated Ugandan woman waiting in line.
Ugandan officials often talk about the spirit of Pan-Africanism that motivates their approach to refugees. President Yoweri Museveni, an autocratic leader who has been in power for 32 years, says Uganda’s generosity can be traced to the precolonial days of warring kingdoms and succession disputes, when losing factions often fled to a new land.
This history of flight and resettlement is embedded in some of the names of local groups around western Uganda, like Batagwenda, which means “the ones that could not continue traveling.”
The government encourages the nation to go along with its policy by directing that 30 percent of foreign aid destined for refugees be spent in ways that benefit Ugandans nearby. So when money for refugees results in new schools, clinics and wells, Ugandans are more likely to welcome than resent them.
For Mr. Museveni, hosting refugees has given him relevance and political capital abroad at a time when he would otherwise have little.
A former guerrilla fighter who quickly stabilized much of his country, Mr. Museveni was once hailed as an example of new African leadership. He was relatively quick to confront the AIDS epidemic, and he invited back Ugandans of Indian and Pakistani descent who had been expelled during the brutal reign of Idi Amin in the 1970s.
But his star has fallen considerably. He has clung to power for decades. His security forces have beaten political opponents. Freedom of assembly and expression are severely curtailed.
Even so, Uganda’s openness toward refugees makes Mr. Museveni important to European nations, which are uneasy at the prospect of more than a million refugees heading for Europe.
Other African nations also host a significant number of refugees, but recent polls show that Ugandans are more likely than their neighbors in Kenya or Tanzania to support land assistance or the right to work for refugees.
Part of the reason is that Ugandans have fled their homes as well, first during the murderous reign of Mr. Amin, then during the period of retribution after his overthrow, and again during the 1990s and 2000s, when Joseph Kony, the guerrilla leader who terrorized northern Uganda, left a trail of kidnapped children and mutilated victims.
Many Ugandans found refuge in what is today South Sudan. Mark Idraku, 57, was a teenager when he fled with his mother to the area. They received two acres of farmland, which helped support them until they returned home six years later.
“When we were in exile in Sudan, they also helped us,” Mr. Idraku said. “Nobody ever asked for a single coin.”
Mr. Idraku has since returned the favor, loaning three acres to a South Sudanese refugee named Queen Chandia, 37. Ms. Chandia said the land — along with additional plots other Ugandans allow her to farm — has made all the difference.
Her homestead of thatched-roof huts teemed with children tending their chores, grinding nuts into paste and maize into meal. Ms. Chandia is the mother of a girl and two boys. But over the years, as violence hollowed out her home country, Ms. Chandia started taking in the orphaned children of relatives and friends. Now 22 children call her “mom.”
A refugee for nearly her entire life, Ms. Chandia arrived in Uganda as a young girl nearly 30 years ago. For years, she worried about being expelled.
“Maybe these Ugandans will change their minds on us,” she said, describing the thought that plagued her. Then one day the worry stopped.
But Mr. Osakan, the administrator who oversees refugee affairs in the country’s extreme northwest, is anxious. There is an Ebola outbreak over the border in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mr. Osakan fears what might happen if — or when — a refugee turns up in Uganda with the dreaded illness.
“It would destroy all the harmony between refugees and host communities,” he said, explaining that it would probably lead to calls to seal the border.
For now, the border is very much open, although the number of refugees arriving has fallen significantly. In one of the newer settlements, many of the refugees came last year, fleeing an attack in a South Sudanese city. But some complained about receiving too little land, about a quarter acre per family, which is less than previous refugees had received.
“Even if you have skills — in carpentry — you are not given a chance,” said one refugee, Simon Ludoru. He looked over his shoulder, to where a construction crew was building a nursery school. The schoolhouse would teach both local Ugandan and South Sudanese children together, but the workers were almost entirely Ugandan, he said.
At the construction site, the general contractor, Sam Omongo, 50, said he had hired refugees for the job. “Oh, yes,” he exclaimed.
“Not a lot, actually,” he acknowledged. “I have about three.” Mr. Omongo called one over.
“Are you a refugee?” Mr. Omongo asked the slight man.
“No, I’m from Uganda,” he said softly. His name was Amos Chandiga, 28. He lived nearby and owned six acres of land, though he worked only four of them. He had lent the other two to a pair of refugees.
“They asked me, and I gave it to them,” Mr. Chandiga explained. He patted his chest. “It comes from here, in my heart.”
Uganda: a role model for refugee integration?
Uganda hosts the largest refugee population in Africa and is, after Turkey and Pakistan, the third-largest refugee recipient country worldwide. Political and humanitarian actors have widely praised Ugandan refugee policies because of their progressive nature: In Uganda, in contrast to many other refugee-receiving countries, these are de jure allowed to work, to establish businesses, to access public services such as education, to move freely and have access to a plot of land. Moreover, Uganda is a pilot country of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF). In this Working Paper the authors ascertain whether Uganda indeed can be taken as a role model for refugee integration, as largely portrayed in the media and the political discourse. They identify the challenges to livelihoods and integration to assess Uganda’s self-reliance and settlement approach and its aspiration towards providing refugees and Ugandan communities receiving refugees with opportunities for becoming self-reliant. Drawing on three months of field research in northern and southern Uganda from July to September of 2017 with a particular focus on South Sudanese refugees, the authors concentrate on three aspects: Access to land, employment and education, intra- and inter-group relations. The findings show that refugees in Uganda are far from self-reliant and socially integrated. Although in Uganda refugees are provided with land, the quality and size of the allocated plots is so poor that they cannot earn a living from agricultural production, which thus, rather impedes self-reliance. Inadequate infrastructure also hinders access to markets and employment opportunities. Even though most local communities have been welcoming to refugees, the sentiment has shifted recently in some areas, particularly where local communities that are often not better off than refugees feel that they have not benefitted from the presence of refugees....
Forcer les gènes et l’Afrique
Enquête sur le forçage génétique des moustiques
Par Zahra Moloo
Traduction par Amandine Semat
Texte original : « The hubris of western science » paru dans Africa is a Country, 1er août 2018 (version légèrement modifiée pour Jef Klak avec l’auteure).
La lutte contre le paludisme va d’échec en échec ces dernières années ; en 2016, il a tué près d’un demi-million de personnes. Pour y remédier, des laboratoires et fondations internationales financées par des géants de l’industrie vont tester une nouvelle méthode : le forçage génétique. L’idée est de modifier génétiquement les moustiques vecteurs de la maladie, pour en propager quelques milliers dans l’environnement. Les gênes dont ils sont porteurs sont censés éradiquer des populations entières d’insectes en quelques générations. Si ces moustiques sont fabriqués dans les éprouvettes du Royaume Uni, c’est au Burkina Faso, au Mali ou au Kenya qu’ils seront relâchés. Or, tout comme pour les autres OGM, les conséquences sur la flore et la faune sont impossibles à prévoir. Le fantasme d’une technoscience occidentale toute puissante continue sa fuite en avant, sous couvert de santé publique. Au détriment des populations autochtones, de leurs capacités de décision et de leurs savoirs, systématiquement occultés.
Méfiance... les occidentaux utilisent l’Afrique comme terrain d’expérimentation... Voir par exemple :
Target Malaria’s Gene Drive Project Fails to Inform Local Communities of Risks: New Film
ETC group, le 19 décembre 2018
Cutting Corners on Consent
Zahra Moloo, Project Syndicate, le 19 décembre 2018
The Rural Women’s Movement Held a Feminist School, Mobilizes Collective Power to Demand Climate Justice - National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE)
The first ever feminist school in Uganda was held this year in Hoima. During the school, members of the Rural Women’s Movement underlined that land is central to people’s identity, livelihoods and food security. They emphasized that land is central to sustainability – be it cultural, economic or social because it forms the physical basis of sustainability. Therefore, there must be a democratic access to land and land-based resources to ensure sustainability.
The changing patterns of land-use is perhaps the major problem affecting grassroot women across the country. While land has for a long time been a source of conflict and disagreements between small-holder farmers, communities and clans, the recent wave of dispute is caused by land-rush: foreign investors purchasing or leasing land for mining or monoculture for profit. Communities have been disposed, families disconnected and local farming systems destroyed as government and investors prioritize profits over nature and people.
This scenario is a reminiscent of the slavery our great-grand fathers experienced centuries ago. But this is a type of slavery of another kind. While in orthodox slavery people were sacrificed to foreigners, in this new slavery, land is sacrificed and local ownership is lost along with local sovereignty. People have become refugees in their own county. Many communities whose land has been taken over by investors are now living in camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) without basic human needs (food, safe water, education, health facility among others, and women and children are bearing the brunt.
La carte des relations diplomatiques entre Israël et les pays africains
Michael Pauron, Jeune Afrique, le 5 juillet 2016
Du 4 au 7 juillet 2016, Benyamin Netanyahou est en tournée en Afrique de l’Est. Le point sur les relations de Tel-Aviv avec les États du continent.
Et un an plus tard :
Israël est de retour en Afrique
Didier Niewiadowski, Jeune Afrique, le 15 juin 2017
Cette offensive diplomatique a pris son véritable élan en juillet 2016, lorsque Benyamin Netanyaou s’est rendu au #Kenya, en #Ouganda, en #Éthiopie et au #Rwanda. Le slogan « Israël revient en Afrique, l’Afrique revient en Israël », lancé en février 2016, a été repris abondamment lors de ce premier périple africain d’un Premier ministre israélien, depuis la Guerre des six jours en 1967.
En Afrique subsaharienne, le #Mali, le #Burkina_Faso, le #Niger, le #Nigeria, le #Cameroun et le #Tchad, frappés par le terrorisme islamiste, sont demandeurs d’une aide multiforme, à laquelle Israël peut répondre. Israël peut aussi compter sur le président #guinéen, Alpha Condé, président en exercice de l’#Union_africaine, et sur le président #togolais, Faure Gnassingbé, élu président de la #Cedeao, ce qui est un atout pour l’organisation du sommet Afrique-Israël, prévu à Lomé, en octobre 2017.