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Accueil > Research at CFEE > Axes and research programs > Theme 3. Social and political transformations in the contemporary Horn of Africa

Migrations in/from the Horn of Africa

Members
David Ambrosetti (CFEE),
Boris Adjemian (IMAF),
Fesseha Berhe (Mekelle University),
Samson Abebe Bezabeh (Makarere University, Uganda),
Julia Blocher (Université de Liège, Sciences Po Paris),
Giulia Bonacci (IRD, URMIS, Université de Nice Sophia-Antipolis),
Alice Franck (CEDEJ Khartoum),
Benoît Gaudin (Addis Ababa University - IRD),
Katarzyna Grabska (IHEID Geneva, CEDEJ Khartoum),
Dominique Harre (CFEE),
Margaux Herman (CFEE),
Simon Imbert-Vier (IMAF),
Omar Ismael (Centre d’étude et de recherche de Djibouti),
Clara Lecadet (EHESS),
Thomas Osmond (Addis Ababa University / CFEE),
Géraldine Pinauldt (Université Paris 8 / CFEE),
Sebabatso Manoeli (Oxford University),
Tesfaye Tafesse (Addis Ababa University),
Hélène Thiollet (CNRS, Sciences Po Paris).

The death of hundreds of Ethiopian, Eritrean, Somali, and Djiboutian migrants near the coast of Southern Europe has drawn the attention of politicians to areas that were considered marginal in terms of Europeans migratory routes (or even external to them). The modalities of mobility within the Horn of Africa are numerous and old. They are part of the sociopolitical and economic dynamics that shape this area. This is particularly true when it comes to the relationship between pastoralism and internal migrations due to inequalities in terms of economic development, urbanisation, and changes in ways of life and social relations, in a highly instable political, economic, and environmental context. The local dimensions of internal mobility (either ‘voluntary’ or ‘forced’) thus need to be considered together with cross-border dynamics, since they are part of them. The observation ofmigrants’ flows, refugees and displaced persons at the Somali-Kenyan, Eritrean-Ethiopian, Sudanese-Ugandan, Chadic-Sudanese, or Egyptian-Sudanese borders, as well as across the Red Sea, has shown that the trajectories of migrants and refugees are often made of successions of steps and itineraries, going back and force, and commuting. Seasonal migrations and population displacements due to outbreaks of violence, conflicts or droughts, become part of regional migrations towards areas or countries considered safer or more adapted to amigration project (for life or survival).

The new research program of the CFEE on this topic deals with
- Intra-regional migrations, essentially due to conflicts, but also to economic and environmental disasters ;
-  Migrations to the Gulf countries that produce oil via Yemen ;
-  Migrations to countries of the OECD, including Israel, viaEgypt and Libya,and then the Mediterranean Sea.
Our approach includes :
- The modes of access to exile according to mobility scales and depending on the subgroup considered (gender differences in particular, but other subgroups as well) ;
- International public policies whose aim is either to limit or guide these population movements ;
- The diversity in terms of ‘status’ ascribed to these flows, which is due to the multiplicity of underlying reasons for departures or arrivals, and results in the fact that refugees, displaced persons, asylum seekers, ‘economic’ migrants, and ‘irregular’ migrants are considered together based on the characteristics of the departure points ;
-  The way in which migration processes affects and changes groups of migrants in terms of identity and socio-economic status.
- The History of migrations out of/to Ethiopia is also important for the understanding of these dynamics ; though contemporary issues related to migrations constitute our primary focus.

This program is part of a wider sub-regional research plan. The CFEE, the branch of the Centre for Social, Legal and Economic Studies and Documentation (CEDEJ) in Khartoum (Alice Franck and Katarzyna Grabska), andHélène Thiollet in Sciences Po Paris,are working together to develop a network of inter-French Research Institutes Abroad (IFRE) research concerning migrations from/in the Horn of Africa. This project emerged with the organisation of a conference on this topic from the 16th to the 18th of November in Khartoum. This conference was supported by the Fonds d’Alembert of the French Institute, the Embassies of France in Ethiopian and Sudan, de French Institutes in Djibouti and Sudan, Sciences Po, the Institut de recherche pour le développement(IRD), the Institut des Hautes études internationales et de développement in Geneva (IHEID), the American University in Cairo, the Centre for Human Rights of Pretoria University, and Mokoro Ltd.

Several publications will appear as a result of this conference as well as other scientific events organised on this topic.
Margaux Herman, the person in charge of the CFEE’s research program on women and gender in the Horn of Africa, is also involved in the program on migrations in order to encourage scientific exchanges between the specialists of two different topics. International (South-North), regional (South-South), and national (rural-urban) migrations affect women at different levels and modify relationships between men and women, may it be in ‘new’ area, in their original society, or in the course of their journey. The reasons that push them to migrate are diverse as well, as they can be linked to economic, social and familial, or political factors.

News
Follow the news of this research program on the blog of the CFEE : cfee.hypotheses.org/category/divers/actualites-de-nos-programmes-news-from-our-programs/migrations-infrom-the-horn

Bibliography
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— 2015 « Immigrants and Kings : Foreignness in Ethiopia, through the Eye of Armenian Diaspora », African Diaspora 8, p. 1-19.
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Bezabeh, Samson A. 2015. (Forthcoming in Fall) Subjects of Empires/Citizens of State : Yemenis in the Port of Djibouti and its Hinterland. Cairo/ New York : The American University in Cairo Press.
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Blocher, Julia. 2015. “Climate Change and Environment Related Migration in the European Union Policy : An Organizational Shift towards Adaptation and Development.” In Rosenow, Kerstin and François Gemenne (eds) Organizational Perspectives on Environmental Migration. London : Springer (Forthcoming).

Blocher, Julia, Garbaoui, Dalila, and Vigil, Sara. 2015. “West Africa’s Role in Pioneering Protection Mechanisms for Cross-border Disaster Displacement”, Forced Migration Review (forthcoming).

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Gemenne, François, and Blocher, Julia, 2015. “How can migration support adaptation ? Different options to test the migration-adaptation nexus”, The Geographic Journal (forthcoming).

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Grabska, Katarzyna. 2015. “Threatening mini skirts” ? : returnee South Sudanese adolescent girls and social change’, in Lisa Akensson and Maria Eriksson Baaz (eds), Africa’s New Developers ?, Zed Books.

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Grabska, Katarzyna, and Mehta, Lyla (eds), 2008. Forced Displacement : Why Rights Matter ?, Palgrave MacMillan : London.

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— 2015, “Europe confronted by its expelled migrants”, in De Genova N. (ed.), The Borders of “Europe” : Autonomy of Migration, Tactics of Bordering, Duke University Press, forthcoming.
— 2015, “Refugee politics : self-organized “government” and protests in the Agame refugee camp (2005-2013)”, Journal of Refugee Studies, forthcoming.
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Lecadet, Clara, et Agier, Michel, 2014, Un monde de camps, Paris, La Découverte.

Thiollet, Hélène. 2015 (forthcoming). Migrations en Méditerranée. Permanences et mutations à l’heure des revolutions et des crises, with Camille Schmoll and Catherine Wihtol de Wenden, CNRS éditions.
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