In about a week, I’m packing up my belongings, leaving Henna-the-cat with Paul-the-other, and traveling to Kenya to do work and research in the Dadaab refugee camps.
I’m new to Kenya, Dadaab and refugee ‘warehousing’, so it’s another trial-by-fire. Thanks, Dad, for teaching me to jump in the deep end first, and my siblings for pushing me in on more than one occasion. That metaphor sure is coming in handy.
My inbox is full of Kenya related materials. Today I received two emails containing the following articles via a couple Google Alerts I have running:
Kenya turns up the heat on Somali refugees – IRIN
Over 1000 refugees complete studies in Kenya
Which leads to this very complicated story that I am just beginning to scratch the surface of. The question of voluntary (and not so) repatriation. Of why countries like Kenya push for repatriation while countries like Canada are places for resettlement. And, most importantly, of what refugees do in the mean time, between becoming ‘refugee’ and repatriation/ resettlement. These questions may seem obvious to some, and I’d love to hear from those who are more familiar with the ins and outs of refugee law. But I think there’s something deeper than legal frameworks, something about endurance and agency, of finding options when they seem least likely, that I would really like to understand more.
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