Peter Nobel


This article concerns those large movements of people in Africa, which have been called the "African refugee problem." However, large and intriguing migrations of populations have occurred in Africa for centuries. The earliest migrations reflected the spread of culture, the growth of trade and the development of roving early kingdoms. The unique history behind the refugee dilemma, however, begins with the instability spawned by slave trading and colonialism. Sensitivity to these eras heightens an understanding of why today's Africa is wrought with economic crises, territorial disputes, unnatural frontiers, misfit ethnic combinations, and more refugees than any other continent. Against this background this article surveys the development of African refugee law and assesses current refugee situations on the continent.