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The South Sudan House in Amarat: South Sudanese enclaves in Khartoum

Katarzyna Grabska and Peter Miller
p. 23-46

Abstract

This article presents our first reflections and impressions on two separate ethnographic fieldworks carried out between 2015 and 2016, and offers insights into a particular enclave of South Sudan in a Khartoum neighbourhood, Amarat. It discusses the wider issues that have emerged as a result of the separation of the two Sudans. In July 2011, South Sudan became an independent nation, and broke away from Northern Sudan. The break-up was a violent experience for the people of the two nations, and the dynamic changes that followed the separation of the two Sudans have affected the lives of people from the north and the south, as well as those who are considered to be ‘Jenubeen’ (Southern or South Sudanese) in the north and those who are considered to be ‘Shageen’ (Northern) in the south. With the political developments in the two nations and the introduction of new citizenship laws, Southerners have become foreigners in Sudan, while Northerners have lost their citizenship privileges in South Sudan1. These political changes have had a profound impact on social, political, and economic reconfigurations, as well as on identity claims in the two nations.

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Outline

The South Sudanese in Khartoum
The ‘South Sudanese house’ in Amarat
The South Sudanese in Amarat
The house
The residents and their predicaments
Discussions in the house and among South Sudanese in Khartoum: being a foreigner and being Jenubeen
From being a Sudanese to being a foreigner in Khartoum: living conditions, education, and work
Living conditions and choices: “No power to go anywhere else”
Access to higher education
Access to work: “There are no jobs for us in Khartoum”
Being Jenubeen: a social and political identity
“We are Jenubeen”and social tensions among the South Sudanese in Khartoum
Changes in social relations as a result of migration:
“Marriage has been postponed”
Emerging reflections and conclusions

Text / first lines

In July 2011, South Sudan became an independent nation, and broke away from Sudan. This break-up was a violent experience for the people of the two nations. The dynamic changes that followed the separation of the two Sudans have affected the lives of people from the north and the south, as well as those who are considered to be ‘Jenubeen’ (Southern or South Sudanese) in the north and those who are considered to be ‘Shageen’ (Northern) in South Sudan. With the political developments in the two and the introduction of new citizenship laws, Southerners have become foreigners in Sudan, while Northerners have lost their citizenship privileges in South Sudan. The political changes have had a profound impact on social, political, and economic reconfigurations, as well as on identity claims in the two nations. Despite the widespread population movements that ensued – with those who are considered to be Southern Sudanese moving to South Sudan, and those who are considered to be ‘Northerners’...

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References

Electronic reference

Katarzyna Grabska and Peter Miller, « The South Sudan House in Amarat: South Sudanese enclaves in Khartoum », Égypte/Monde arabe,Troisième série, 14 | 2016, Online since 21 October 2018, connection on 11 December 2017. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/ema/3574 ; DOI : 10.4000/ema.3574

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About the authors

Katarzyna Grabska

Katarzyna Grabska, PhD is a social anthropologist. She is a senior research fellow at the Global Migrations Centre of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) in Geneva and an affiliate of CEDEJ Khartoum. She researches issues of transformations of social and gender relations, in particular in the context of war, displacement and return among South Sudanese in Egypt, Kenya, South Sudan, and Sudan. She has published widely on these topics, including her monograph entitled Gender, Identity and Home: Nuer Repatriation to South Sudan, which was awarded the Armoury Talbot Prize for the best contribution to African anthropology in 2014. Her most recent research focuses on adolescent girls’ migration from Ethiopia and Eritrea to Sudan.

Peter Miller

Peter Miller is a Master’s anthropology student at the University of Paris VIII Vincennes – Saint-Denis. His current research project focuses on marriage strategies and identity practices in Khartoum, part of a wider project directed by the CEDEJ Khartoum.

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