Nagai et al (2008). Violence against Refugees, Non-Refugees and Host Populations in Southern Sudan and Northern Uganda
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We carried out a cross-sectional household survey among Sudanese refugees and Ugandan nationals in Arua district Uganda, and Sudanese non-refugees in Yei county Sudan. The objective was to document and compare, across population groups, violent events experienced or witnessed, both to document the frequency and nature of violent events and to assess the potential burden of psychological trauma. The extensive psychological trauma in this population has been reported elsewhere (Karaunakara et al. 2004). Half or more of all groups had experienced or witnessed injury by a weapon or gun, beating/torture, harassment by armed personnel, robbery/extortion or imprisonment. Having ever experienced or witnessed confiscation of property was more common among both Sudanese groups than among Ugandans. Exposure to sexual violence was common among both men and women, particularly during times of migration. Almost all violent events were witnessed or experienced more commonly by refugees. Violent events continued for refugees after settlement in Uganda. Many of the violent events reported by Ugandans had occurred earlier, during Uganda’s civil conflict. The protection offered refugees in Uganda, by the host government and United Nations, seemed of limited benefit, both now and in the past. In spite of recent peace accords for southern Sudan, many refugees are likely to remain in Uganda for some time. The potential for refugees and those remaining in Sudan to develop longer term psychological disorders from the high level of exposure to violent events is substantial.