Sluga (2011). Still a Long Way to Go. Local integration of IDPs in Yei, Southern Sudan
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This case study focuses on a heterogeneous group of Dinka IDPs and returning refugees in IDP-like situations who live in Yei, a city in the southern Sudanese state of Central Equatoria. The study group was displaced from Warrap, Greater Bahr el Ghazal, Lakes and Upper Nile states from 1986 onwards. Some were displaced directly to Yei from their places of origin, but most had first crossed Southern Sudan and remained in Uganda and Kenya as refugees before arriving in Yei. These refugees started returning to Southern Sudan from 1997 onwards, but in greater numbers in 2005 when the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the Sudanese Government and the main Southern rebel movement, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A), brought to an end the second stage of the north-south civil war which had commenced in 1983.
In IDMC-organised discussions groups of internally displaced people (IDPs) and returning refugees cited several reasons for settling in Yei1. Enjoying relative security and better access to basic services than elsewhere in Southern Sudan, Yei lies in the region’s fertile breadbasket. Proximity to Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) provides further livelihoods possibilities. Most Dinka IDPs in Yei are subsistence farmers and petty traders.
Considering that their displacement has been so protracted, as long as 24 years in some cases, it is striking how few Dinka IDPs have managed to locally integrate. They have not learned to speak the dialect of the largest indigenous community....