Canalization and Control: Unbounded Migrants
Chapter 2 reveals that despite British and Belgian attempts to control migration in the region, trade and circulation across the new international borders increased, as neither colonizer was able to control the long stretches of borderland between their territories. Indeed, Rwandan and Burundian migration into Ngara increased during the colonial period, as did labor migration from Ngara (and Rwanda and Burundi) into the Uganda protectorate. Colonial rule from the 1920s to the 1950s attempted (unsuccessfully) to control and direct the movements of people within and through Ngara district. Such efforts at containment and canalization led to the conditioning camps that were the theoretical, if impractical, forerunners of the refugee camps examined in later chapters. As the borders remained porous, people found ways to provide for themselves and their families outside the imposed governmental framework by relying on time-tested regional circulations that ignored the borders of the colonial state.