Kaiser (2011). Dispersal, division and diversification: durable solutions and Sudanese refugees in Uganda
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Questions over durable solutions in the social, political and security terrain of southern Sudan and northern Uganda invite recognition that simple delineations between ‘‘home’’ and ‘‘exile’’ are inadequate for an understanding of displacement and refugee status. Contrary to existing policies that assume an unproblematic repatriation of Sudanese refugees from their protracted exile in Uganda to a ‘‘post conflict’’ Sudan, the emerging reality is that multiple strategies of survival, self protection and development are being employed. This paper explores the variety and ingenuity with which refugees address challenges to livelihoods, identities and security with a portfolio of responses which render the notion of a straightforward cross-border movement ‘‘home’’ largely notional. Drawing on long-term research in a number of Sudanese refugee settlements in northern Uganda since the mid- 1990s, this article emphasizes the need to recognize that durable solutions should not be constructed as single and fixed in contexts where individuals and groups may continue to migrate so as to meet their family’s collective needs. It also invites recognition of the extent and ways in which re-crossing international borders has particular meaning for refugees given their specific legal status, as well as the additional relevance and significance of physical, social and symbolic boundaries in such a context.