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                            The University of San Francisco
USF Scholarship: a digital repository @ Gleeson Library | Geschke Center
	Winter 1-3-2012
Challenges and Livelihood Strategies of Darfurian Refugees Living in Kampala, Uganda
	Angela F. Lucia
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The University of San Francisco
USF Scholarship: a digital repository @ Gleeson Library |
Geschke Center

Master's Theses Theses, Dissertations, Capstones and Projects

Winter 1-3-2012

Challenges and Livelihood Strategies of Darfurian
Refugees Living in Kampala, Uganda
Angela F. Lucia
University of San Francisco, [email protected]

Follow this and additional works at: https://repository.usfca.edu/thes

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University of San Francisco





Challenges and Livelihood Strategies of Darfurian Refugees
Living in Kampala, Uganda






A Thesis Presented to
The Faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences

Master’s Program in International Studies




In Partial Fulfillment
Of the Requirements for the Degree

Masters of Arts in International Studies










by
Angela Lucia

December 2011

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36

the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) in the middle of the night or being

kidnapped by the janjawiid militia.
100

Those who did spend time in prison described instances of

torture and ill treatment by the GoS.
101

Many left Darfur after being released, while some

escaped prison and fled.
102

One refugee explains his experience of being arrested from Kalma

IDP Camp,

The security forces arrested me and I was badly tortured. The others that I was arrested
with died because of the torture. I was being interrogated for a long time where they were
trying to get information about rebel leaders and about what Darfur community leaders
were doing. I was in prison for two months. My family didn’t know that I had been
arrested because they kidnapped me in the middle of the night, blindfolded me and took
me to an unknown place. This is happening a lot to people my age. After they made sure I
was innocent and that I didn’t have any information to give them, they released me. After
I left prison I didn’t go back to my family in the camp, I escaped Darfur. I went to South
Sudan and let them know I was OK.

103



This is not an isolated case, and many young men that have arrived in Kampala speak of their

escape due to fears for their life and their inability to continue their education or secure work.
104



Refugees described the challenges associated with expressing their opinions and

protesting about what was occurring in Darfur when the conflict escalated in 2003. After holding

a demonstration at his university, one refugee explained the response by the GoS, “Many

students were arrested by the government, including myself. We were taken to prison around

Nyala for two months. During the detention, we were beaten and tortured, including electric


100

Survey 18, Male, 25, 6/14/11; Survey 42, Male, 21, 6/22/11; Survey 47, Male, 24, 6/22/11; Interview 1, Male,
35, 6/24/11; Interview 12, Male, 20, 7/31/11; Interview 13, Male, 30, 8/6/11
101

Survey 13, Male, 26, 6/11/11; Survey 33, Male, 32, 6/16/11; Survey 35, Male, 26, 6/16/11; Survey 40, Male, 23,
6/18/11; Survey 42, Male, 21, 6/22/11; Survey 46, Male, 26, 6/22/11; Interview 8, Male, 25, 7/30/11; Interview 9,
Male, 25, 7/30/11; Interview 13, Male, 30, 8/6/11; Interview 14, Male, 30, 8/7/11
102

Survey 13, Male, 26, 6/11/11; Survey 40, Male, 23, 6/18/11; Survey 42, Male, 21, 6/22/11; Survey 46, Male, 26,
6/22/11
103

Survey 42, Male, 21, 6/22/11
104

Survey 12, Male, 22, 6/11/11; Survey 17, Male, 18, 6/14/11; Survey 18, Male, 25, 6/14/11; Survey 20, Male, 28,
6/14/11; Survey 30, Male, 28, 6/15/11; Survey 31, Male, 27, 6/15/11; Survey 34, Male, 23, 6/16/11; Survey 35,
Male, 26, 6/16/11; Survey 39, Male, 20, 6/18/11; Survey 49, Male, 19, 6/24/11; Survey 50, Male, 23, 6/24/11;
Survey 51, Male, 21, 6/24/11; Interview 8, Male, 25, 7/30/11; Interview 9, Male, 25, 7/30/11; Interview 10, Male,
24, 7/31/11

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37

shock, hanging people, and they also put broken glass and spread animal feces all over the rooms

where they were interrogating us.”
105

The GoS then denied those Darfurians who were arrested

to continue their education at the university. This was followed by more demonstrations, and

subsequent arrests as well as torture and ill treatment of Darfurians, simply because they are

speaking out against the killing of their family members and members of their communities and

the destruction of their villages. Another refugee explains his inability to continue his education,

“Because they closed down the university in Zalingei and universities all over Western Darfur, I

tried to find some work.”
106

The GoS is openly violating Darfurians right to freedom of

expression and suppressing their right to education as punishment for demonstrating their dissent

against the government’s actions.

The majority of the young men that left Darfur left behind their families in the IDP

camps. The conditions in the IDP camps consist of a lack of security, water, and a lack of health

and education as well as other services.
107

Many refugees had been separated from their families

when their villages were attacked.
108

While living in Kampala, many refugees do not have

contact with their families.
109

Some refugees did not know if their families were safe or where

they were located, and many refugees were not able to notify their families that they had made it

to Kampala and were currently living there.
110

One refugee explains,


105

Interview 13, Male, 30, 8/6/11
106

Interview 8, Male, 25, 7/30/11
107

Survey 18, Male, 25, 6/14/11; Survey 27, Male, 17, 6/15/11; Survey 32, Male, 21, 6/15/11; Survey 36, Female,
28, 6/18/11; Survey 37, Female, 26, 6/18/11; Survey 38, Female, 26, 6/18/11; Survey 39, Male, 20, 6/18/11; Survey
47, Male, 24, 6/22/11; Survey 48, Male, 32, 6/24/11; Survey 49, Male, 19, 6/24/11; Interview 6, Female, 28,
7/29/11; Interview 7, Male, 32, 7/30/11; Interview 8, Male, 25, 7/30/11; Interview 11, Male, 22, 7/31/11
108

Survey 16, Male, 25, 6/14/11; Survey 29, Male, 21, 6/15/11; Survey 43, Male, 20, 6/22/11; Survey 46, Male, 26,
6/22/11; Interview 10, Male, 24, 7/31/11; Interview 11, Male, 22, 7/31/11; Interview 12, Male, 20, 7/31/11
109

Survey 12, Male, 22, 6/11/11; Survey 34, Male, 23, 6/16/11; Survey 43, Male, 20, 6/22/11; Survey 45, Male, 35,
6/22/11; Interview 8, Male, 25, 7/30/11; Interview 12, Male, 20, 7/31/11
110

Survey 31, Male, 27, 6/15/11; Survey 46, Male, 26, 6/22/11

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9. Where is your family? Is your husband or in South Sudan?

10. How did you reach Kampala? Did you come directly to Kampala from Darfur? If no,

where were you staying before coming to Kampala?

11. Can you describe what happened when you first arrived to Kampala? Where did you

sleep? How did you find your community?

12. How did you find accommodation? Did you face any challenges finding accommodation?

Did anyone assist you with the process? What problems have you faced since finding

accommodation?

13. Did you have any money with you when you arrived? If you did not come to Kampala

with any money, how are you paying for accommodation and daily expenses?

14. How long have you been in Kampala?

15. Have you applied for asylum seeker? If yes, where did you apply (UNHCR, OPM)? Did

you face any challenges with the process of applying? Did anyone assist you with the

process?

16. What challenges have you faced living in Kampala (isolation, difficulties raising children

away from your community support)?

17. Have you faced any discrimination while in Kampala or faced problems of insecurity?

18. Have you experienced gender based sexual violence either as a result of the war in Darfur

or in Kampala? If yes, did you get access to health or police services?

19. How has being a refugee affected your family relationships?

20. Have you received any assistance from NGOs since living in Kampala (UNHCR,

InterAid, Refugee Law Project, OPM)? If yes, what kind of assistance?

21. Have you accessed any health services for your family? If yes, did you face any

difficulties in accessing those services?

22. What do you need assistance with in Kampala?


Focus Group Questions

1. How has being a refugee impacted your life?

2. How has your experience being a refugee changed from living in a refugee camp to

becoming an urban refugee living in Kampala? For example, how have challenges that

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you have faced, your ability to practice your culture, or your identity as a refugee

changed?

3. In the last three months, what kind of problems have you faced? How are you addressing

these problems? What positive experiences have you had in the last three months?

4. What challenges have you faced emotionally and psychologically as a refugee?

5. Discuss ideas for improving your situation, including ideas for community building,

cultural activities, bringing awareness to the situation of your families and community in

Darfur and your situation in Kampala.

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