Thursday, June 02, 2005

Refugee Mistake and Ethnic Blunders.

Hey guys,

I wanted to clarify two things or at least open them for discussion -

a.) There really aren't any significant numbers of "Refugees" as a result of the war in northern Uganda. There are 1.6 million internally-displaced peoples (IDPs).

b.) I think we should write northern Uganda and Ugandans in/from the north both for consistency and also because of the power of language. When we say Northern Uganda, we are separating Northern Uganda and making its own entity when the problem of referring to the war as a "Northern Conflict" or "Northern Question" has been an act of discrimination and regional sectarianism in the Ugandan Parliament dating back the early 1990s. In other words, this is a Ugandan crisis or war, even if the government refuses to frame it as such. Also, I think we have to say Ugandans from/in the north because the concept of Northern Ugandans make them a separate group and gives this conflict an ethnic element that is not extremely prominent (at least in my opinion). I am just opening this for debate, though, so feel free to weigh in if you disagree.

Couple other thoughts at the moment - we need to work harder at framing this conflict in the wider Great Lakes Region (with Sudan and DRC) and also to project what we are about in terms of an alternative vision (i.e. that we are for transnational advocacy that ensures a better world of human rights, peace and dignity.)

That's probably all from me for the night. More to come tomorrow. Good night y'all.

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