I don’t know where to start. I wish I had taken my wife. Who am I without my school certificates? These three remarks by refugees, scribbled into notebooks by The Niles correspondents, support the Sudanese proverb that ‘experience is a solid walking stick’. War, hunger and poverty have repeatedly forced both Sudanese and South Sudanese to flee their homes. Right now more than 4.5 million people are on the road in the two countries, like these passengers on a bus from Khartoum to Shendi. The fifth edition of The Niles documents their journeys, following their routes to neighbouring villages, fast-expanding cities or the other side of the globe, revealing diverse experiences with a recurring theme: When you leave home, the familiar is lost but the essential remains.
CANADA USA Migration in the mix UK Whether in search of greener pastures, work, or peace, migrants have roamed in and out of Sudan and South Sudan for centuries. MAINLAND EUROPE EGYPT ALGERIA LIBYA NIGER NILE Transhumance The most traditional form of movement in the Sudans is the seasonal migration of nomadic or semi-nomadic groups with their livestock over long distances to greener pastures during dry periods. It is particularly common along and across borders in the Tamazuj belt between both countries. Since the 1984/85 Sahel drought, a deteriorating ecology and a steady influx of small arms have escalated many disputes between pastoralists and peasants over land use to violent conflicts. Blame is often wrongly put solely on the nomads, whose livelihoods are also disrespected as primitive. However, pastoralists are the economic backbones of both Sudans and keepers of traditional cultures. NIGERIA CHAD Nyala DARFUR Al Fashir SUDAN SOUTH KORDOFAN K UPPER NILE UNITY JONGLEI CAMEROON CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC SOUTH SUDAN WHITE NILE Juba Sources: Abdel Ghaffar M Ahmed, Concordis International, Feinstein International Center, Humanitarian Information Centre for Darfur, International Crisis Group, IOM, OCHA, Small Arms Survey, Hussein M Sulieman, UNEP, UNHCR labour migration displacement labour & displacement transhumance IDP camp refugee camp 200 km 1 : 9 293 000 DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO UGA theniles_enar_20150327.indd 4 2015/3/31 1:50 PM
IRAQ KUWAIT IRAN BAHRAIN QATAR SAUDI ARABIA UAE Port Sudan OMAN NILE Labour Migration Displacement by Conflict UPPER NILE Khartoum BLUE NILE BLUE NILE ERITREA ETHIOPIA DJIBOUTI YEMEN SOMALIA Since the creation of urban centres during colonial times, a rural flight has been steadily changing the demographic landscape of the Sudans. People from the marginalised peripheries seek working opportunities and better infrastructures in the more developed urban centres, especially the national and state capitals. This migration into cities takes place across borders. While great numbers of individuals from neighbouring countries move to either Sudan for jobs, millions of Sudanese and South Sudanese have emigrated in the past four decades to find better incomes abroad, mainly in the Gulf and in Western countries. Remittances are the very basis for both economies. Also, Sudan has become a hotspot of human trafficking to northern countries in recent years. The people of Sudan and South Sudan have been plagued by wars for many decades. Displacement and resettlement have changed the social fabric forever, mainly through urbanisation. In recent years, millions of Sudanese have been forced to flee their homes in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Sudan, on the other hand hosts a large number of refugees as well. In South Sudan, hundreds of thousands from the states of Unity, Upper Nile and Jonglei have become Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) or refugees to neighbouring countries since 2013. During the previous war (1983-2005), tens of thousands of Southern Sudanese emigrated to Australia, the UK and North America. In both Sudans, most families have at least one member living in the diaspora. ONGLEI HITE NILE UGANDA KENYA AUSTRALIA theniles_enar_20150327.indd 5 2015/3/31 1:50 PM