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March 24 (Refugees) & 26 (Human Rights)

by: Helen Jiang

March 24 (Refugees) & 26 (Human Rights) IAFF 2093

Marketplace > George Washington University > International Studies > IAFF 2093 > March 24 Refugees 26 Human Rights
Helen Jiang
GPA 3.26
Africa: Problems & Prospects
Ambassador David Shinn

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Full notes (news, lecture, discussion Qs) on March 24th Refugees and IDPs & 26th Human Rights. Notes are fact-checked and clarified during office hours.
Africa: Problems & Prospects
Ambassador David Shinn
Class Notes
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Helen Jiang on Friday May 1, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to IAFF 2093 at George Washington University taught by Ambassador David Shinn in Spring 2015. Since its upload, it has received 50 views. For similar materials see Africa: Problems & Prospects in International Studies at George Washington University.

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Date Created: 05/01/15
Tuesday March 24 News UN optimistically announces that August 2015 2016 there will be no more Ebola cases in the current outbreak Nigerian tycoon is funding a 100 million entrepreneurial program to help boost the private sector Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe died Rwanda is now giving full pay for maternity leave Cold Nile Agreement Biggest dam in Africa that will be constructed across the Blue Nile Agreement content is mysterious but it s still significant that Egypt Sudan and Ethiopia Egypt is concerned about how the dam will be filled in one go without harming them Bombing in Tunisian museum killing 20 people and injuring others with 2 of the attackers killed 3rd on the run 3 attackers trained in Libya and ISIS is claiming the attack but the connection is unclear Tunisian Prime Minister fired his top 5 security officials MISTAKE maybe scapegoating Brits have classified Libya as a security threat based on illegal migration and ISIS growing power Rebel group in CAR kidnapped 16 people across the border inside Cameroon 70 bodies found in northern Nigerian town that was formally held by Boko Haram but liberated by Niger troops Though the troops that have been succeeding in liberating towns are from Chad and they ve been pressuring the Nigerian government to be faster in getting their troops over to newly liberated Liberian economy in ruins as a result of Ebola Morocco disabled a terrorist cell Son of a former Senegalese president was sentenced to 6 years in prison for corruption good news they put his highstatus in jail bad that there is corruption Refugees amp IDPs Article by Jeff Chris IGNORE EVERY STAISTIC AND NUMBER IN IT IT S OUTDATED but the problem analysis is good Refugee camps can sometimes look like regular settlements However the newer ones that are shambling and organizing with or without UNHCR are pretty chaotic Refugee is not within the border of his or her own country The official US definition is a bit quaint minimizes the threat of death and only mentions men Internally Displaced Persons move from their home but stay within their country s borders 0 Armed persecution violence famine religion and con ict 0 IDPs don t enjoy the same legal or institutional support that refugees receive By design UNHCR is to care for refugees but sometimes they will assist IDPs There are no organizations to help IDPs Returnees are refugees and IDPs who have returned to their home are called this Africa is 15 of world population yet is 25 of world refugees There were 13 million refugees in the world in 2014 UNCHR says in 2014 there were 13 million refugees worldwide with Asia accounting for almost twice as much as Africa But 20 years ago it would have been reversed Presently Syria and Iraq are probably the biggest contributors to significant numbers of refugees 3 largest African refugeeproducing countries at the end of 2013 Somalia 11 million Sudan 650000 and DRC 500000 Cumulatively these three countries produced 225 million refugees They all share con ict with their government and country 3 largest African refugeereceiving countries Kenya 500000 mostly from Somalia Ethiopia 335000 also mostly from Somalia and Chad mostly from Sudan In recent years southern Africa has produced relatively few refugees because of resolved con ict and relative increase in prosperity While Africa continues to produce a disproportionate number of refugees it s share of the global refugee problem has been falling since the early 19905 due to con icts in places like Afghanistan Iraq and Syria particularly It has gone from 50 to 25 within a few decades with the Rwandan genocide being the major event 1994 with a million each of Rwandans going to eastern Congo and Tanzania However the decrease in refugees is countering the rise in BPS In 2014 Nigeria had the highest number of IDPs with 33 million DRC at 3 million Sudan at 24 million and Somalia at 11 million Kampala Pact targets what and assisting African IDPs but this pact has no meaning until governments make a political commitment and they haven t African Union and OAU have always encouraged African receptor states to repatriate their refugees voluntarily In the earlier years the number of refugees was manageable and didn t pose an economic burden However in the 1990s huge numbers more than today s of refugees have made African receptor countries rethink their traditional hospitality In the past 20 years there have been setbacks to the tradition of African hospitality 0 Less inclined for asylum and encourage refugees remain within their home countries in safe zones However the problem is that these people then are considered IDPs and they lose support borders are usually porous unclear so what is the zone sometimes movement towards and maintenance of these zones cause urban problems for city officials and usually these safe zones just don t exist 0 Increase in the number of refugees seeking asylum OR ASSISTANCE in neighboring countries I New refugees are usually caused by internal problems and not colonial legacies I These neighboring countries could be concerned about being targeted as helping one side of a civil war con ict or African governments are psychologically more sympathetic to refugees created by colonial newly independent conditions So when it s internal they don t want to brunt the burden Refugee accommodation problems 1 Industrial states have eroded asylum and reduced receiving refugees abilities I NonAfrican countries have been decreasingly receptive to taking in refugees The US is one of the most open but we still struggle with this 2 African countries see more prosperous countries not helping so they wonder why should they have to take on this responsibility of accommodating refugees 3 Countries that have accommodated refugees for the past 20 years said their efforts were not appreciated or exacerbated con ict resolution 4 Donors don t want to continue financially supporting longterm refugee problems and wonder about con ict resolution consequences 5 Some African economies have faced a downturn that make it difficult for them to accommodate refugees however most economies are stronger 6 Environmental damage ex cooking fires to the host country and sometimes a perception that refugees are treated better than indigenous people who live by these refugee settlements Refugees are incorrectly and correctly associated with crime prostitution and banditry This happens usually in and around the camps 0 But truly they are easy scapegoats and most of the crime associated with them are caused by the indigenous population It s not surprising that a relatively authoritarian government is more helpful than a democratic government because if the authoritarian government decides they want to help they will not allow criticism of refugees to occur Democratic governments may be helping for ulterior motives like political gain but also face political and civic backlash Refugeepopulated areas may come under direct military attack ex Burundi armed forces attacking Tanzania Nonmilitary security threats include coercion intimidation something for abduction for forced marriage induction to militias and arbitrary arrests 0 Especially in Sudan where they would move into Ethiopia for recruitment 0 Human Rights Watch charged Somali representatives of recruiting from the Dadaab Refugee Camps There were also claims that the Somali government even did this as well as alShabaab going into Kenyan camps to recruit Somalis UNHCR guidelines strictly prohibit the use of refugee camps for military recruitment 0 Yes there s a lot of legislation that was written with individual national interests and don t address the refugee problem comprehensively o UNHCR is strict about excluding economic immigrants armed individuals and violent reputations from entering their refugee camps o Refugee camps should be located as far from the border they are eeing from because it protects them from raids recruitment efforts 0 Refugee life is hard with poor people poor living conditions and crowded space 0 Sometimes people in these camps have done some horrible things in the country they ed from But this can be dealt with by strengthening the judicial system in the host country while communicating refugees responsibilities and rights in a way that deals with illiteracy issues I Arts and community outreach comes last and making sure refugees are fed come first Usually most refugees can return to their original country Most Somalis in Ethiopia were able to return to Somaliland Eritreans Ivory Coast people and Liberians have returned too 0 Return should be wholly voluntary Returnees experience dislocation that results in loss of livelihood home job and livestock Usually refugees will have been gone for at least 1 planting year so most things have died Returnees are coming back to nothing and the risk of potential violence 0 When they ee to another part within their country 0 When they return home to find that it s been devastated including documents left behind High tensions and psychological insecurity characterize wartorn countries Returnees suffer legal insecurity on top of all that because they lack documents NOT IN REQUIRED READING US amp Resettlement policies US has been the single most important financial supporters for UNHCR since the beginning 25 of the budget comes from the US US also has generally good record of international aid to refugee problems and resettlement 1 Comply with the definition of a refugee contained in the US nationality and refugee act 2 Be part of a refugee group s identified by the President as groups in special humanitarian need Be admissible under US law genocideist or convicted of homicide 4 Must not have been resettled in another country Since 1975 Somalia and Ethiopia have counted for the largest number of refugees coming from Africa to the US Somali populations are concentrated in certain cities whereas Ethiopians are all over 0 Largest Somali population is in Minneapolis St Paul and second largest is in Columbus Ohio Canada Sweden Netherlands and Australia also host big populations 0 Since 1990 more people from subSaharan have arrived in the US to stay than the total number of subSaharan Africans who came to the US involuntarily as slaves until 1807 outlawing of slavery 50000 subSaharan Africans come to the US as refugees immigrants etc annually than the number of slaves that came each year for the slave trade 9 Discussion Questions The number of African refugees remains high but the percentage has decreased because of con icts in other parts of the world It s not that the situation in Africa has improved a lot it s improved a little Why are most of African refugees and IDPs concentrated in a few countries They can t probably wouldn t be moved far away from their home country Do refugees from Africa admitted to the US constitute a significant terrorist threat Generally no but there are random cases here and there But the most concerning is the Somali population specifically alShabaab in Minneapolis St Paul 0 NYT story on 2 SomaliAmericans in Minneapolis St Paul who were trying to join ISIS not al Shabaab or Somali One succeeded in arriving while the other was arrested 0 Somalis have had trouble trying to integrate themselves into the US Thursday March 26 News Nigeria may be hiring mercenaries to deal with Boko Haram Nigeria39s two presidential candidates both signed an agreement to end corruption Boko Haram kidnapped 400 girls government is denying it Suicide bombers killed 5 people in Libya at an army checkpoint More than 20 people have been arrested in Tunisia from the terrorist attack two weeks ago Outbreak of typhoid fever in Uganda Human Rights Most important African human rights issues Human trafficking child soldiers civilian targets in con ict political prisoners or unfair jailing due to political religious beliefs media repression in some countries Somalia amp Eritrea gay rights albino persecution and rape and violence again women African Union suggested that Africa s main human rights issues are due to poverty colonialism negatively affected African ethnic and political traditions and governments attempts to force power onto its people African Legal Human Rights Process 1 African Charter on Human and People s Rights Ratified in 1981 by all AU countries and is good bad relative to other regional human rights conventions a It covers civil and political rights economic social and cultural rights and group and community rights b Other conventions are mainly different because of civil political rights based on per country basis and having more powerful national laws The African Charter legally transcends countries laws with their blanket terms c African Charter is mainly different because it doesn t have a charter violation provision blanket rules for all situations and it grants people the right to selfdetermination equality existence development safe environment peace etc These rights are great values but not always well enforced 2 African Human Rights Commission Created in 1986 it s meant to promote human rights and enforce the African Charter It listens to countries complaints and has an educational component a Each signatory needs to issue a compliance report every 2 years However many countries ignore this requirement noncompliance and the ones that do make these reports include noncompliance events b Commission is underfunded and understaffed Situation is exacerbated because commissioners are forced to comply with their respective governments who give the placement This can in uence their bias as some commissioners can t say bad things about their home states or else they ll be replaced c Charter and Commission are failing because African politicians are refusing to support it 3 Partiallysupported Human and People s Rights Court Court with 11 judges picked by the AU Assembly but only 2754 of African Union countries are members a Meant to compliment the Commission but it makes binding decisions due to its jurisdiction over anything included in the African Charter b Since 2006 the court has received 35 case applications It s decided on 20 cases gave 2 cases back to the African Commission and is currently working on 11 cases Discussion Questions What s the future of African courts


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