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You searched for: Political Geography Democratic Republic of the Congo Remove constraint Political Geography: Democratic Republic of the Congo Publication Year within 10 Years Remove constraint Publication Year: within 10 Years Publication Year within 25 Years Remove constraint Publication Year: within 25 Years Journal The Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations Remove constraint Journal: The Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations
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  • Author: Inge Brees
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University
  • Abstract: In the West, refugees are increasingly regarded as a menace, especially in the aftermath of 9/11 which led to heightened securitization of migration and anxieties about 'the other'. However, this discourse is better justified in developing countries which have to deal with mass influxes of refugees into their territory when the conflict of neighboring countries spills over their borders. In such cases, refugees can pose a security threat to the host country. For example, they can attract attacks from across the border which present a hazard to the local populations or they can be mixed in with the armed forces as in the case of Interahamwe with the Tutsi in the Congo. Relief aid can be used by leaders to control their fellow refugees and finance their own insurgent activities, which can prolong the conflict in a country of origin. Moreover, refugee camps provide a breeding ground for political radicalism, militancy, and recruitment into rebel groups. If a violent act is committed, there is often no adequate law enforcement system to punish the offenders. Since most camps are not entirely closed, the problems of crime, violence, and militarization leach out into the surrounding host community. The presence of refugees can thus pose a security problem, but the host country is usually also affected on a political, economic and environmental level. For example, large numbers of refugees who are in desperate need of cash are in a weak bargaining position. They feel obliged to accept lower wages, which may have a detrimental effect on the wages and employment rates of the native population. This can result in rising tensions, as was the case recently in South Africa, where survival migrants2 from Zimbabwe were blamed for declining economic conditions. Governments usually try to reduce potential tensions by compelling refugees to stay in camps.
  • Political Geography: South Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zimbabwe, Thailand