Daten zum Projekt

Extension Phase of the Senior Fellowship for Prof. Dr. Meron Zeleke Eresso: Rerouted from Djibouti to the Sudan Changing Migration Dynamics of Ethiopian Female Transit Migrants in Djibouti

Initiative: Wissen für morgen – Kooperative Forschungsvorhaben im subsaharischen Afrika
Ausschreibung: Postdoctoral Fellowships in the Humanities in Africa
Bewilligung: 29.11.2019
Laufzeit: 2 Jahre


The finding from the ongoing research on lived experience of Ethiopian female transit migrants in Djibouti rerouting their transit pathways to the Sudan, contradicts the dominant discourse portraying transit migrants as agents stranded enroute lacking agency to decide about their state of mobility/immobility. By going beyond normative victimization narrative of transit migrants, the proposed study examines the agency of female transit migrants; that is, the creative strategies they employ while planning their mobility/immobility, and in negotiating their precarious position. In so doing, the study pays attention to migrants' priorities and expectations in rerouting their migration pathways. The study thus addresses the factors that affect the decision making process of the transit migrants enroute including their risk assessment and aspirations. Preliminary findings of the ongoing research indicate that some of transit migrants' decision to reroute from Djibouti to Sudan is related to the perceived greater affordances of migrating to Europe and Israel via the Sudan than to the Gulf countries via Djibouti. Available evidence also suggests that many migrants from different parts of Ethiopia increasingly prefer the Sudan route. While situating the study within this broader attraction of Ethiopian migrants towards the northern (Sudan) route, the proposed study nevertheless focuses on Ethiopian female transit migrants and their re-evaluation of destination and transit pathway. It will also further follow up on addressing the role of brokers based in Ethio-Sudanese border (Metema) networked with Ethiopian smugglers based in Djibouti, the Sudan and beyond.