Forging Home: Local and Global Intersections in the Postconflict Reintegration of Liberian Returnee Refugees

Forging Home: Local and Global Intersections in the Postconflict Reintegration of Liberian Returnee Refugees

Author by Dr. Olajumoke Yacob-haliso

Journal/Publisher: Global Africans: Race, Ethnicity And Shifting Identities

Volume/Edition: 1

Language: English

Pages: 202 - 220

Abstract

The questions germane to this paper are: how do Liberian refugees returning from exile in various West African countries encounter the country they return to? In what ways do they as members of various communities and localities invent, shape and forge a ‘home’ for themselves to enable sustainable reintegration? And, what complementary roles do local and international agencies, bearing either particularistic or global mandates, play in these processes? And with what outcomes? This original paper based on qualitative fieldwork argues that refugees and returnees are not merely victims of circumstances, nor mere wards of the national and international system that has responsibility for their postconflict reintegration. Rather, they are veritable agents in constructing – forging – the ‘home’ they return to. Furthermore, the paper contends that the returnees’ perception of the country of origin as ‘home’, as well as their steady progress towards the touted ideal, is significantly shaped by the intersecting activities of various local, national and international agencies and norms.


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