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Who Wants to Return Home? A Survey of Sudanese Refugees in Kakuma, Kenya

By Ron J Eidelson and Rebecca Horn


With the goal of better understanding some of the psychological factors related to refugees’ desire to return home, surveys were administered to 235 South Sudanese refugees living in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya. Respondents were asked about how much they wanted to return to Sudan, their emotional reactions about returning, their views on the prospects for peace, their expectations regarding how they would be received upon return, and their concerns about specific challenges they might face. In addition, they completed an inventory measuring their personal beliefs about issues in five domains: vulnerability, injustice, distrust, superiority, and helplessness in regard to prospective returnees to Sudan. A large majority was very eager to repatriate. Individual differences in attitudes toward returning were significantly linked to the strength of their beliefs in the five domains. Stronger beliefs about vulnerability, injustice, distrust, and helplessness were associated with more negative perceptions of return, while a stronger belief about returnee superiority was correlated with a more favourable perspective on repatriation

Year: 2008
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