From "Migrants" to "Refugees": Humanitarian Aid, Development, and Nationalism in Ngara District, Tanzania, 1940-2000 Open Access

Rosenthal, Jill Robyn (2014)

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This dissertation analyzes the history of how the "nation" came to be actualized in the popular imaginations of people living on the border of the Tanzanian nation-state. I am concerned with how the people of the Busubi and Bugufi Chiefdoms of Ngara district became Tanzanians--the processes through which the borders of a colony became the boundaries of a state and a citizenry. I argue that transnational aid to Rwandan refugees in Ngara district unfolded as part of a broader project of nation-state formation and regulation--one which deeply affected local narratives of community and belonging.

Situated on the Tanzanian border of the present nation-states of Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi, Ngara district has been a site of Wanyaruanda migration, later termed "Rwandan refugee" movement, for centuries. As such, Ngara's past and present are inextricably entwined with global and regional forces of trade and culture, as well as transnational constructions of "refugees" and "nation-states." The long and varied presence of humanitarian aid to a specific sector of the Ngaran population, Rwandan refugees, has deep implications for Ngarans, as well as for how we understand histories of humanitarian aid and nation-state formation in Africa. Examining this history yields insights into changing international geographies of control and regulation and their effects on local imaginaries of self, community, and "others." Through multi-sited archival research as well as over one hundred interviews conducted in Ngara district, I examine the competing topographies of authority and control that became crucial to refugee encounters in Ngara, as they did throughout the decolonizing world. Specifically I argue that as Rwandans in Ngara were increasingly segregated and made subjects of exclusionary national and transnational aid projects, aid that refugees frequently rejected and subverted, so did Ngarans come to see themselves as part of the Tanzanian nation-state.

Table of Contents

Introduction: 1-29

From "Migrants" to "Refugees"

Chapter 1: 30-79

Mandates, Trustees and Irrelevance

Border-making and economic migration in Ngara District, 1920-1960

Chapter 2: 80-130

Undeveloped Decolonization

Education, Coffee, and Tobacco Production in Ngara District, 1940-1965

Chapter 3 : 131-188

Developmental Refugees

Local, State, and Transnational Encounters with Rwandan Refugees in

Ngara District, 1959-1964

Chapter 4: 189-247

Conflicting Authorities

The Creation of Mwese Highland Rwandan Refugee Settlement, 1959-1970

Chapter 5: 248-290

Of "Natural" Citizens and "Natural" Illegality

Ujamaa, Magendo, and Naturalization in Ngara District, 1970-1984

Chapter 6: 291-341

Of Genocidaires and Humanitarians

The Rwandan Refugee Emergency in Ngara District

Conclusion 342-351

The Business of Nationalism and Humanitarian Aid

References (Primary Sources) 352-358

Bibliography 359-369

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