The Politics of Accusation amidst Conditions of Precarity in the Nakivale Resettlement Camp

in The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology
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  • 1 Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology (Halle/Saale)
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Abstract

Nakivale, the oldest refugee camp in Uganda, hosts refugees fleeing various forms of political unrest from several African countries. Uganda's humanitarian framework makes it an attractive place for refugees. Little is known about the role that humanitarian policies play in shaping interactions between different actors or the politics of accusation that emerges within this settlement. In a context in which the status of a refugee can confer preferential access to scarce resources, different refugee communities struggle to define themselves, their neighbours and kin in terms of the camp's humanitarian language. Describing the everyday anxieties that define life in the camp, this article shows how accusations become powerful resources that refugees draw upon to meet the criteria for resettlement to a third country, but also how these forms of humanitarian assistance rely on processes of exclusion that create endemic accusations of corruption, criminality and even witchcraft.

Contributor Notes

Sophie Nakueira is a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle/Saale, Germany. Her current research focuses on the regulation of migration flows from the Global South to the Global North through resettlement schemes in refugee contexts.

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