Forced Migration and Armed Conflict scholarly attention to the causes of war. For most of the Cold War

  • View
    0

  • Download
    0

Embed Size (px)

Text of Forced Migration and Armed Conflict scholarly attention to the causes of war. For most of the Cold...

  • i

    Forced Migration and Armed Conflict

    An Analytical Framework

    and a Case Study of Refugee-Warriors in Guinea

    Felix Gerdes

    Arbeitspapier Nr. 1 / 2006

    Universität Hamburg - IPW

    Forschungsstelle Kriege, Research Unit of Wars,

    Rüstung und Entwicklung Armament and Development

  • ii

    Anschrift und Bezugsadresse

    ISSN 1432 - 8283

    Universität Hamburg - IPW Forschungsstelle Kriege, Rüstung und Entwicklung Allende-Platz 1 D - 20146 Hamburg Telefon: 040/42838-3689 Fax: 040/42838-2460 http://www.akuf.de

  • iii

    About the Author

    Felix Gerdes is a staff member of the Research Unit of Wars, Armament and Development.

    He is a graduate political scientist and currently prepares a PhD thesis on the political

    economy of peace-building and democratisation. His areas of interest are Africa and

    South-East Asia.

    Contact Details

    Tel.: (+49 179) 772 17 62

    Email: felixgerdes@gmx.de

    Abstract

    This paper deals with the phenomenon of militarised refugee camps and settlements.

    Firstly an analytical framework drawing on Norbert Elias’ sociological theory is estab-

    lished. Society is understood as the interplay of political, economic and symbolic reproduc-

    tion. Contradictions in these three dimensions form the background of organised armed

    conflict. Using the formula of “self-perpetuation of warfare”, the author shows that mas-

    sive violence and consequent flight sharpen existing contradictions. Flight represents the

    exclusion of certain groups from political, economic and symbolic systems of reproduction

    in the home country. Processes of marginalisation are frequently repeated in the host coun-

    try. Exclusion and marginalisation produce motivations to engage in armed conflict. Yet

    motivations need to be complemented by organisational capacities of armed actors in order

    to translate into actual fighting. The author argues that certain characteristics of refugee

    situations support the organisational capacities of rebel groups. The framework is applied

    in a case study of the refugee crisis in Guinea.

    Secondly, it is shown that the problem of militarised refugee populations is concentrated in

    a few countries in Africa and the Middle East. Then the author examines the impact of

    humanitarian aid and the host state in the cases of Israel/Palestine and the Great Lakes Re-

    gion of Central Africa. Humanitarian aid may significantly increase capacities of rebel

    groups but tends to be a minor factor. The decisive variable is the host state. The analysis

    links the phenomenon of refugee-warriors to a common characteristic of the host states:

    instability and heavy informalisation of politics. In the quest for power, host state actors try

    to increase their power resources by establishing alliances with armed refugee actors.

    Countries in which refugee-warriors can become active are typically those where the ruling

    regime faces strong opposition, where political structures are authoritarian and competition

    for power is hardly institutionalised, and where informal political structures extend into the

    security sector.

  • iv

    INTRODUCTION.................................................................................................... 1

    1 REFUGEES AND SELF-SUSTAINING WARFARE ..................................... 12

    1.1 Refugees and Political Reproduction............................................................................................. 17

    1.2 Refugees and Material Reproduction............................................................................................ 23

    1.3 Refugees and Symbolic Reproduction........................................................................................... 31

    1.4 Implications for the Social Order of Refugee-Warriors .............................................................. 34

    2 HOST STATES, HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE, AND REFUGEES IN

    ARMS................................................................................................................... 37

    2.1 Refugees in Arms: Empirical Evidence......................................................................................... 38

    2.2 Host States, Refugees and Trans-national Political Networks .................................................... 43 2.2.1 Palestinian Refugees and their Host States................................................................................... 44 2.2.2 Refugees and their Host States in the Great Lakes Region .......................................................... 48

    2.3 The International Humanitarian Community and Milita rised Refugee Camps ....................... 53 2.3.1 Humanitarian Assistance to Palestinian Refugees........................................................................ 57 2.3.2 Humanitarian Refugee Assistance in Kivu (Zaire/DR Congo)..................................................... 61

    3 CASE STUDY: REFUGEE MIGRATION IN WEST AFRICA: LIBERIA,

    SIERRA LEONE, AND GUINEA.......................................................................... 69

    3.1 Country of Origin: Liberia............................................................................................................. 69 3.1.1 Background of the War ................................................................................................................ 69 3.1.2 Refugees, Interests and Strategies in the Liberian Civil War ....................................................... 71 3.1.3 Host Country: Sierra Leone.......................................................................................................... 74

    3.2 Country of Origin: Sierra Leone ................................................................................................... 76 3.2.1 Background of the War ................................................................................................................ 76 3.2.2 Strategies, Tactics of Warfare and Re-production of a Social Basis ............................................ 77

    3.3 Host Country: Republic of Guinea ................................................................................................ 79 3.3.1 General Background..................................................................................................................... 79 3.3.2 Guinea, Regional Relations, and the Refugees............................................................................. 81 3.3.3 Refugee Camps, the Humanitarian System and the International Community ............................ 86

  • v

    3.4 Domestic Aspects............................................................................................................................. 92 3.4.1 Violence and Images of Refugees and Guineans ......................................................................... 92 3.4.2 The Impact of the Refugee Influx on the National Political Scene .............................................. 97 3.4.3 The Economic Impact of the Refugee Influx: Winners and Losers............................................ 100

    3.5 The Refugee Crisis and Identity Formation ............................................................................... 106 3.5.1 Refugee-Related Violence in Guinea ......................................................................................... 110

    3.6 Conclusion: Refugees in Guinea and Political Violence............................................................. 115

    4 GENERAL CONCLUSION.......................................................................... 117

    BIBLIOGRAPHY................................................................................................ 124

    ABBREVIATIONS.............................................................................................. 136

  • 1

    Introduction

    In 1994, faced with an advancing guerrilla movement made up of second and third genera-

    tion refugees, the Rwandan regime initiated massacres of the country’s ethnic Tutsi popu-

    lation that were to go down in history as the third genocide of the 20th century. Within less

    than three months, some 800,000 civilians were killed. The government troops were even-

    tually forced to retreat and took with them some two million civilian refugees. Among the

    roughly one million refugees who fled to eastern Zaire were numerous government offi-

    cials as well as between 50,000 and 65,000 remaining members of the Forces Armées

    Rwandaises (FAR) and the Interahamwe militia, the main perpetrators of the genocide

    (Emizet 2000:165).1 They immediately regrouped in the vast refugee camps in the border

    region and soon started carrying out cross-border attacks on Rwanda. In the camps openly

    controlled by militia, humanitarian assistance became the main source of revenue within

    the insurgents’ economy, benefiting them both by ensuring supplies and controlling the

    civilian refugee population. Due to the unwillingness and incapability of the Zairian gov-

    ernment and the international community to intervene, the new Rwandan army and an al-

    lied Zairian rebel group invaded the country’s eastern Kivu provinces in 1996, closing

    down the refugee camps and tri