in: Journal of Borderlands Studies 28 (3), 355-368
Asylum seekers in Africa, just as across the world, have not been spared from the politics of cross-border migration which has become more contentious in contemporary times. This is due to the prevailing security, economic, and cultural concerns that have seen migrants who bear certain racial, ethnic, national, and religious identities facing physical and legal barriers erected to curb their inflow. This paper argues that despite the general tendency in global political discourses to treat Africa as a monolithic entity, cross-border migration is equally contentious in Africa as it is in other parts of the world and is also connected to current global and regional politics in relation to local, context-specific concerns. The paper focuses on the forced return of Somali asylum seekers to Somalia by Kenyan authorities in January 2007 and is framed within the context of broader research conducted from 2006–2007 and in 2012 on refugees self-settled in Nairobi, Kenya.