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Nakivale Refugee Settlement on Uganda’s border with Rwanda is one of Africa’s oldest refugee camps. Rwandans first fled there following the ‘Hutu Revolution’ of 1957 and it now contains roughly 60,000 Rwandans, Congolese and Somalis along with many other nationalities (some of its residents like to say they live in the real Organisation of African Unity). This is not the choked ghetto usually evoked by media representations. Nakivale is a confederation of villages and contains enough farming and animal husbandry to feed itself and still produce surplus to export further afield. And though Nakivale is in the middle of nowhere, it is anything but isolated from cultural, social and economic activity; there are markets, several cinemas and plenty of smartphones in evidence taking advantage of the new mobile phone mast erected in the centre of the settlement.

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Journal article


Refugee Studies Centre

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