In recent years, the “Eastern Route” from the Horn of Africa to the Arabian Peninsula has become one of the busiest and deadliest maritime migration routes in the world. At the same time, Yemen is seeking to escape the ongoing conflict in their country have sought refuge in the Horn of Africa, where they encounter Ethiopian migrants walking toward the Red Sea. The experience of migrants in this region is often shaped by racialization, a political process in which groups of people are ascribed a distinct racial identity. In this talk, Nathalie Peutz focused on contemporary encounters between Yemeni “refugees,” racialized as Arab, and Ethiopian “migrants,” racialized as African, in a port town of Djibouti. In so doing, she explored a complex set of migratory movements and displacements in this geopolitically sensitive region, illuminating how broader intersecting global and regional movements are experienced and navigated by “refugees” and “migrants” on the move—and highlighting some of the ramifications of the UN’s Global Compact on Refugees.
The event was moderated by Marina de Regt, Assistant Professor of Social and Cultural Anthropology at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.