International Responses for The Protection of Conflict Induced Internally Displaced Persons Since 1991 In Sudan’s Darfur And Somalia 

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INTERNATIONAL RESPONSES FOR THE PROTECTION OF CONFLICT INDUCED INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS SINCE 1991 IN SUDAN’S DARFUR AND SOMALIA

 

Abstract

 

This study examines the existing international normative and institutional responses for the protection of conflict induced internally displaced persons (CIDPs) in the particular countries of Sudan’s Darfur and Somalia. In meeting its objective, the thesis, with a very limited primary data obtained through in-depth interview, primarily depends on secondary data source focusing on extensive document analysis by using different publications such as books, articles, documents, reports, policy papers, proceedings and briefings and so on. Qualitative interpretation was entirely employed as a methodology of analysis. The study suggests that Sudan’s Darfur and Somalia are at the forefront in hosting massive IDPs with a severe humanitarian crisis, resulted by their prolonged internal armed conflicts. Informed by the increasing crisis of IDPs in those countries as well as IDPs worldwide, the international community is significantly continued in responding for protection and assistance to IDPs ranged from the introduction of normative framework, to the existing a collaborative kind of institutional arrangements. Legal frameworks, such as the Guiding Principles and the Kampala Convention are came to the ground for the specific purpose of protecting and assisting IDPs. Moreover, under the Cluster Approach, the UN agencies and non-UN international intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations are currently involved in the protection of IDPs in Darfur and Somalia. As the study examines the issue, focusing on the particular countries of Sudan’s Darfur and Somalia’s CIDPs, although the existing international legal and institutional as well as humanitarian and political response for protection and assistance to IDPs is significantly in a growing concern, the system is yet in ad hoc and fledgling nature of humanitarian support, with weak and unpredictable institutional arrangement.

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

 

1.11.   Background of the Study

 

Internal displacement is a new international agenda that first emerged in the late1980s and get recognition internationally in the 1990s (Cohen, 2013; Mooney, 2005). According to the 2012 report of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), internal displacement is the new challenging issue in the 21st century international system, and currently the numbers of displaced peoples are alarmingly increasing worldwide (UNHCR, 2012a:1-2). “By the end of 2012, 45.2 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, generalized violence and human rights violations” (ibid: 3); am ong these, 28.8 million are Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), resulted by conflict related factors excluding IDPs that resulted by other causes like, natural and manmade disasters, large scale development projects and so on (ibid; see also Mehari, 2011).

 

Among most of these protracted conflict induced IDPs, around 12 million are in Africa (Allehone, 2009:156; Ferris, 2012:1; Fischer & Vollmer, 2009:39). In the sub-region of the Horn of Africa, Sudan and Somalia continues to host the highest number of IDPs to date, resulting from the countries protracted nature of instability. Accordingly, because of the long existed and yet the ongoing armed conflicts, there are rough estimated “2,445,000” IDPs in Sudan “as of 30 November 2013” and about “1,100,000” IDPs in Somali a “as of January 2014” (IDMC, 2013a; UNHCR, 2014).

 

The international community’s responses for the protection of IDPs evolved since the early 1990s as the issues first gained recognition globally (Mooney, 2005:10). Since then, various legal and intuitional as well as humanitarian and political responses have been done in responding to IDPs protection (see Cohen, 2005; Deng, 2004). Among the world states, Sudan and Somalia, as indicated above, are at the forefront in producing millions of IDPs at risk because of their long existed internal conflicts that challenge international communities in responding to the issues. Hence this research paper seeks to focus on examining the international responses for the protection of IDPs that resulted by armed conflicts in those countries.

 

1.2. Statement of the Problem

 

Currently, “internal displacement is the greatest t ragedy of our time and internally displaced persons are among the most vulnerable of the human family” (UN, 2004a:1). This crisis of IDPs is critical in Darfur and Somalia that hosts large numbers of IDPs resulted from the counties prolonged internal conflicts, which needs international protection and assistance by large (OCHA, 2013:1). In Sudan’s Darfur and Somalia, IDPs are mainly the results of ‘armed conflict and insecurity’. Violent struggles between groups vying for access to natural resources, land, political representation and power were among the root causes of most of these displacements (IDMC:2011:36). For instance, the Darfur conflict in Sudan between the government and various Darfur’s armed groups since 2003 continues to displace millions of peoples (De Geoffroy, 2007). Similarly, the recurrent instability in Somalia since 1991 caused the current massive IDPs (Fellin, 2013a).

 

The human rights and humanitarian situation of IDPs in those countries has severely deteriorated. Access to basic necessities for these vulnerable IDPs population has been very limited (Mohamed, 2013; Massoud, 2013). According to the International Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC) (2011), human right violations and abuses are frequently committed on IDPs. For example, in Somalia and Darfur, parties to the conflict attacked and killed civilians including IDPs population. “In Somalia, combatants reportedly attacked IDP settlements and recruited children from them into their ranks. In Darfur, fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces and armed groups, inter-tribal violence and criminal activities led to the death of more than 600 civilians, including fleeing IDPs”(ibid; S ee also, IDMC, 2013a; IDMC, 2013b). Furthermore, particularly in Somalia, the protracted nature of conflict coupled with recurring drought, highly threatened the lives of IDPs (IDMC, 2011).

 

 

The magnitude of IDPs crisis and their vulnerability is very complicated. Unlike refugees and other vulnerable groups, IDPs neither have a legal status nor specific institutional mandate at the international level, in order to address their specific needs (Cohen, 2013; Mehari, 2011). This situation has aggravated the vulnerability of IDPs.

 

Nevertheless, in recent time there is a growing concern by the international community in providing a regime or normative frameworks as well as optional institutional mechanism1 for the protection and assistance of IDPs (Allehone, 2009). For instance, UN has introduced Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement though not binding (Guiding Principles, 1998). Similarly, at the regional level AU introduced Africa Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of IDPs, named Kampala Convention, on 29 October 2009 and it came into force on 6 December 2012 (Kampala Convention, 2009; IDMC, 2013a).

 

Nowadays, “an internationalization of the problem o f internal displacement is…a reality and organizations such as UNHCR are operationally involved in providing assistance and protection to IDPs” (Allehone, 2009:156). For example, by the end of 2012, among the 35.8 million peoples concern of the UNHCR, 17.7 were the IDPs including from Sudan approximately 1.8 million and in Somalia an estimated 1.1 million (UNCHR, 2012a:22; see also UNHCR, 2014). Nevertheless, as Mehari (2011:94) argued, “the absence of binding law has left million of IDPs out of the compass of the international protection of human rights, thus resulting in a ‘protection gap’ ”.

 

In spite of the fact that, there is a growing tendency in the study of the problem of internally displaced persons, literature in the area is yet scanty; particularly the problem in Sudan’s Darfur and Somalia is yet not well studied. Moreover, the literature on the overall aspect of IDPs is limited, and mainly restricted to conceptual issues. The exhaustive study of IDPs’ problem is therefore, essential to come up with remedies and action in the ground. Therefore, this study will reduce the aforementioned gaps and could serve as base for further studies and knowledge base as well, related to the subject.

 

  • See chapter two, section 4.2.2.2.

 

1.3.Central Argument of the Study

 

The study claims that, though the existing international legal and institutional as well as humanitarian and political response for protection and assistance to IDPs is significantly in a growing concern, examining the issue in the particular countries of Sudan’s Darfur and Somalia’s CIDPs, the system is yet in ad hoc and fledgling nature of humanitarian support with weak and unpredictable institutional arrangement.

 

1.4.Research Objective

 

 

The overall objective of this study is to examine the international responses for protection of conflict induced Internally Displaced Persons (CIDPs) in Sudan’s Darfur and Somalia. Moreover, the thesis aims to achieve the following specific objectives:

 

To describe internal armed conflicts caused that IDPs, and the situations of these IDPs in Sudan’s Darfur and Somalia.

 

To assess the international normative and institutional responses for the protection of CIDPs in Darfur and Somalia.

 

To explore the challenges of international efforts in responding to the protection and assistance of CIDPs.

 

 

1.5.Research Questions

 

The general research question for this study is: what are the international responses for protection of Conflict induced Internally Displaced Persons (CIDPs) in Darfur and Somalia? The following specific research questions are also drawn and served as a guide lines for the study

 

What are the internal armed conflicts caused IDPs, and the situation of these IDPs in Darfur and Somalia?

 

What the international normative and institutional responses for protection of IDPs by the international community looks like.

 

Why the international response to the protection and assistance of IDPs is challenging?

1.6.Scope of the study

 

The problem of internal displacement in current international system is multifaceted and worldwide. However, the scope of this study is limited within the international responses in terms of legal and institutional aspects for protection of conflict induced Internally Displaced Persons (CIDPs) in Sudan’s Darfur and Somalia. Despite, internal displacement and related problems of IDPs is the problem of most of the world as well as African states, this thesis seeks to focus on Sudan’s Darfur and Somalia, which are primarily affected by the problem of conflict related internally displaced peoples resulted from the countries recurrent internal conflicts. The time frame of the study is since the 1991 to the present.

 

1.7. Limitation of the study

 

Even if the final outcome of the thesis was intended to be substantiated by first hand data using experts in the area as key informants, it was not achieved well, because of the inaccessibility of the key informants. In general, inaccessibility of appropriate data along with the scanty nature of literature on the area, inability to access all the planned key informants for the intended interview, and financial constraint were the daunting challenges that that were faced in the process of working with this thesis.

 

1.8.Significance of The Study

 

IDPs crisis particularly, in Darfur and Somalia is presently, the most daunting challenge which seems beyond the capacity of the national governments that needs the international community response by large. In responding to the problem it is crucial first to investigate the issues scientifically which could enable to take a policy and related measure. Thus, for the different concerned bodies to IDPs, first and foremost identifying the problem of IDPs substantially is essential. Therefore, this thesis may add its own part in critically examining the international responses for the protection of the conflict resulted problems of IDPs, in Darfur and Somalia. In doing so, hopefully the final outcome of this thesis could provide the following major significances:

 

It may adds a sort of knowledge on the current ongoing internal armed conflicts that have caused massive IDPs crisis in Darfur and Somalia

It may provide a sort of understanding about the existing international normative and institutional responses for the protection of conflict induced internally displaced persons in Darfur and Somalia.

 

It may identify the challenges that encountered the international communities in responding to IDPs protection and assistance.

 

It could provide additional sources of data in the form of literature.

 

It could serve as a base for policy formulation for the concerned bodies, and so on.

 

 

1.9.Methodology and Methods

 

The study has employed a qualitative approach. Data which obtained mostly from secondary sources have been analyzed using qualitative approach. As the study focuses on examining the existing international legal and institutional arrangements for the protection of the conflict induced IDPs in Darfur and Somalia, extensive document analysis has been conducted, primarily using secondary sources of data, which include different books, journal articles, reports, briefings, policy papers, legislations, magazines, news, archives, official documents and publication, internet sources and publication of different international institution working in the area. In addition limited primary source of data were used, that obtained through in-depth interview with an expert that currently works as an international consultant, and chairman and board of director for African Rally for Peace and Development.

 

  1. Organizations of the study

 

This thesis is generally organized consisting of four main chapters. Following the introduction Chapter Two deals with conceptual framework and literature reviews which extensively stress on the conceptual issues of the study in line with surveying literatures related to the subject of the study. This is followed by Chapter Three, conflict-induced internally displaced peoples (CIDPs) in Sudan’s Darfur and Somalia; it has focused on a brief description of conflict related internal displacement and the situations of IDPs in Sudan’s Darfur and Somalia. Finally Chapter Four is an appraisal of the international responses for the protection of CIDPs in Darfur and Somalia; the normative/legal and institutional responses of the international community for the protection and assistance of IDPs in Darfur and Somalia; the challenges that encountered the international efforts in responding to of IDPs protection and assistance is also discussed under this part. It ends with a short and brief conclusion.

 

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