In September 2018, South Sudanese political and armed actors signed a new peace agreement after months of negotiations between parties to the defunct 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS) and other groups that had since been created. While hailed by some as a significant step forward, the deal is clearly fragile. Fighting has since continued in parts of the country and some parties have reconsidered their support for the deal.
The recent influx of South Sudanese refugees into Uganda has reignited debate about the country’s refugee policy and, with it, discussions on the extent to which the “Ugandan model” can be implemented in other countries in Africa and around the world. Given the growing numbers of refugees globally, and the momentum surrounding the global compact on refugees and the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF), these are vital discussions.
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?
27 June 2018: Joint statement by 26 international NGOs in Uganda on the need for urgent action to address gaps in funding for the refugee response.
As the world witnesses a drastic increase in the numbers of refugees and forced migrants, governments, humanitarian actors and development partners alike continue to debate the humanitarian, social, economic and security implications of this growth in international displacement.
Today, we have published our Annual Report highlighting our work over 2017.
2017 was a year of significant achievement for us, as we continued to work on our three main programmatic areas of: -identifying the violations that cause displacement and exile; -protecting the rights of those who are displaced, and -ensuring resolutions to their displacement are durable, rights respecting, safe and timely.
By January 2018, there were approximately 1.4 million refugees and asylum seekers in Uganda, the majority of whom are from South Sudan. The rapid expansion and demarcation of land for refugee settlements in northern Uganda has allowed national and international actors to respond to the humanitarian needs of South Sudanese refugee communities. While this has led to life-saving interventions, the processes by which land was acquired from host communities has gone largely unquestioned by donors and humanitarian and development partners active in the Uganda refugee response.
“Movement restricted”: new policy paper on Congolese refugees in Angola
Between March and July 2017, close to 35,000 Congolese refugees fled atrocities in the Kasai region and sought safety in Angola. While the Angolan government has offered many safety from militia and army attacks in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), its treatment of those who have fled is troubling.
They may have fled abuses in their country, but Burundian refugees in Nakivale refugee settlement in Uganda still live in fear for their safety and do not feel beyond the reach of the Burundian government and its militia, the Imbonerakure.
On 1 January, the Israeli government announced a new plan to coerce all Eritreans and Sudanese asylum seekers to leave the country by the end of March 2018. Those leaving within this period will receive a grant of USD 3,500 in cash upon their departure and a free one-way ticket. Those who will remain, will face indefinite imprisonment.
International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI) a publié un nouveau rapport sur les violences et les déplacements dans la région du Kasaï en république démocratique du Congo (RDC). Il montre que suite à des attaques commises par une milice, ont eu lieu des opérations militaires abusives et des massacres par une milice progouvernement, causant la mort et le déplacement de centaines de milliers de personnes.
(Kampala, 16 January 2018) International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI) today published a new report about violence and displacement in the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It describes how attacks by a militia were followed by abusive military operations and mass killings by a pro-government militia, causing the death and displacement of hundreds of thousands.
As South Sudanese leaders are set to participate in another series of talks in the coming months, their citizens continue to flee the violence, lawlessness and humanitarian disaster that characterises their country. From refugee settlements in Uganda and elsewhere in the region, they follow these discussions with a mix of scepticism, hope and rejection. Most have lost faith in the willingness of their politicians to find a solution to their situation at the negotiation table. As a refugee leader in Uganda’s Adjumani district told IRRI: “Such dialogues have been done many times.
4 December 2017
In August 2014, eight months after the war in South Sudan began, the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) described it as “a war on the children of South Sudan”. More than three years later, the violence in South Sudan continues, and children continue to be the victims of atrocities and to suffer from the worsening humanitarian crisis the war has caused.
Joint EU-African Migration Policy Fundamentally Flawed, New Approach Needed
The joint EU-Africa policy on migration from Eritrea and the Horn of Africa is in urgent need of reform, according to a new report from the International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI), The Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA), and The Centre for Human Rights Law at SOAS, University of London.
(Kampala 5 October 2017) Launched today, IRRI’s latest report, Protection for refugees not from refugees: Somalis in exile and the securitisation of refugee policy, looks at the impact that the increased securitisation of refugee policy has had on the lives of refugees.
New IRRI report on the causes of exile of Burundian asylum seekers
(Kampala, 24 August 2017) International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI) today published a new report about the causes of exile of Burundian asylum-seekers. The research shows that Burundians continue to leave their country because of the ongoing threats and abuses by members of the Imbonerakure and the killings and enforced disappearances of their family members.
Today, IRRI is launching a policy paper that draws on six years of field research in the Great Lakes region, incorporating nine units of field research. Each study focused on the links between citizenship and forced displacement in the Great Lakes region and examined both the differences and the interaction between local and national understandings of belonging.