"The suffering is too great”: urban internally displaced persons in the Casamance conflict, Senegal

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Abstract

The paper addresses the dearth of studies of displaced people living in urban areas of sub-Saharan Africa through a survey of a particular group of internally displaced persons (IDPs) created by Senegal's Casamance conflict. They originate in a rural area along the Guinea-Bissau border and were displaced into Ziguinchor, the regional capital, mostly in the first half of the 1990s. Analysis of survey data reveals the dynamics of displacement and reception, showing how IDPs used pre-existing rural–urban migration chains and social integration processes. The livelihood activities of IDPs are compared with those of two other groups who have largely remained in situ: people normally resident in the periphery of the urban reception area; and people remaining in the rural home area. Relative to both groups, IDP livelihoods are restricted by reduced access to primary production sites, and IDP livelihood activities are thus more urban-based even than those of ordinary townsfolk.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60–85
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Refugee Studies
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Senegal
  • Casamance
  • urban internally displaced persons
  • livelihoods
  • rural–urban migration

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