Striving for Solutions: African States, Refugees, and the International Politics of Durable Solutions
by Olajumoke Yacob-Haliso
How do international structure and African agency constrain or propel the search for truly “durable solutions” to the African refugee situation? This is the central question that I seek to answer in this paper. I would argue that existing approaches to resolving refugee issues in Africa are problematic, and key to addressing this dilemma is a clear and keen understanding and apprehension of the phenomenon as grounded in history, states’ self-interested actions, international politics, and humanitarian practice. I suggest that these cardinal features of the African and international political system are the key obstacles to progress in the search for alternatives to African refugee trajectories, and that durable solutions have no chance of being truly durable if the current configuration of international and regional politics, actors, and policies persist.
About the Author
Olajumoke Yacob-Haliso is an associate professor of Political Science at Babcock University in Nigeria. She holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Olajumoke’s research over the years has explored the positions of women in conflict and postconflict situations in Africa, with a particular focus on refugee and displacement concerns. She has conducted extensive fieldwork in Liberia, and some in Nigeria and Geneva. Olajumoke has also researched broader issues in relation to the comparative politics of African states. She has co-edited four books and is also an editor and co-editor of two journals.
Dr. Olajumoke Yacob-Haliso currently serves as the acting Dean of the Veronica Adeleke School of Social Sciences at Babcock University, where she also teaches courses in international relations, peace and conflict studies and comparative politics. In fall 2018, Dr. Yacob-Haliso took part in the Visiting Professor/Practitioner Program, hosted by the Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice.