Before Humanitarianism: the Italo-Ethiopian War (1935-1941) and Refugee Camps
(University for Foreigners of Perugia)
Paper short abstract:
This paper examines the policies of encampment determined by the Italo-Ethiopian War (1935-1936) and the following five year resistance war (1936-1941), analysing the impact of different encampment policies on Ethiopian refugees and their interactions with larger political dynamics.
Paper long abstract:
This paper addresses the policies of encampment determined by the Italo-Ethiopian War (1935-1936) and the following five year resistance war (1936-1941). By examining forced migrations induced by protracted warfare, the paper will focus on internment camps for deserters as well as on camps for war refugees set up along the borders of Italian East Africa, requiring forms of surveillance never experienced before that challenged colonial gouvernmentality. Before humanitarianism, Ethiopian refugees became pawns in local and regional relationships, with differentiated treatments according to the neighbouring receiving country. Thus, recurring to unpublished and archive sources, the paper will provide a critical appraisal of these camps in a regional perspectives, questioning a) the strategies of neighbouring host colonial countries and the number of different actors involved in the encampment policies; b) the impact of the broader pattern of bureaucracy and control on the internees; c) their individual stories within the social life in the camps and their interactions with the larger political dynamics.
Refugee camps in African history