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Fertility of Malian Tamasheq Repatriated Refugees: The Impact of Forced Migration Fertility of Malian Tamasheq Repatriated Refugees: The Impact of Forced Migration FERTILITY AND FORCED MIGRATION In Africa many of the refugee flows in recent years have had a strong ethnic dimension; interethnic conflict or conflict between politically powerful groups with minority populations is often an important aspect of who is forced to flee. In most cases the origins of conflict occur in a multiethnic environment, and repatriation (if it happens) occurs in that multiethnic context, with implications for subsequent relationships between the groups in terms of political, economic, and numeric power. As the primary source of recruitment to a population, fertility is an essential component of postconflict restructuring. The disruption of fertility during the disorder of forced migration can itself be seen as part of the disintegration of society and identity; the impact of conflict and flight on reproduction may be an important indicator of the degree of crisis faced by the population. Postcrisis fertility and changes from the reproductive regime prior to the forced migration indicate not only how the population has responded to the multiplicity of changes and traumas, but also its ability to adapt and manipulate its new sociopolitical position. Studies of the impact of forced migration on fertility in developing countries are rare, although more are available on the impact of famine and war on fertility. The study by Agadjanian and Prata (2002) of Angolan fertility in high conflict and interconflict periods shows declines in birth probabilities when conflict was intense and a rebound in fertility during
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Fertility of Malian Tamasheq Repatriated Refugees: The Impact of Forced Migration more peaceful interludes. The declines were most marked for the urban populations who, although not necessarily exposed to most conflict, through more use of fertility control had more potential for adjusting fertility behavior in response to periods of stress and uncertainty. The data used for this Angolan study excluded refugee camp populations and thus may have minimized the impact of forced migration on fertility, focusing more on general consequences of conflict. The study by Lindstrom and Berhanu (1999) of the impact of war, famine, and economic decline on national and regional marital fertility in Ethiopia considered only four residential categories (one urban and three rural areas), so any differential responses of particular ethnic subpopulations were masked. In Africa ethnic identity is frequently an important determinant of rural fertility regimes (Brass et al., 1968; Randall, 1984; Lestaeghe, 1989), but national-level data may mask any ethnicity-specific fertility consequences of conflict and forced migration. This is a substantial analytical problem given ethnic heterogeneity and the variable sociopolitical roles and positions of particular ethnic groups in many conflicts. Whereas several studies have considered the general role of war, economic insecurity, and famine on fertility (National Research Council, 2004), few have focused on the specific experience of a single persecuted population whose sociopolitical history, along with their underlying marital and fertility regimes, will inevitably condition responses to conflict. Outside Africa, the exceptional case of the Palestinians demonstrates a pronounced fertility response to that particular drawn-out refugee crisis in its specific political context, with fertility being substantially higher than would be expected from the level of socioeconomic development (Courbage, 1995; Khawaja, 2000; Pedersen, Randall, and Khawaja, 2001). From studies of both conflict and famine in populations in which fertility control is widespread, it is clear that there is a short- and medium-term impact on fertility, largely mediated through conscious decisions not to reproduce, probably coupled with reductions in coital frequency and increases in spousal separation (see National Research Council, 2004). The impacts of malnutrition and stress on fecundity cannot be ruled out. The responses of rural populations with natural fertility are less well documented; both the Angolan and Ethiopian studies cited above show the most effects of conflict and crisis on the urban population, for which fertility control was most widespread. It is therefore important to examine the impacts of forced migration on noncontracepting populations in order to
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Fertility of Malian Tamasheq Repatriated Refugees: The Impact of Forced Migration understand the potential for conflict to disrupt and transform reproduction, but to do this, data are needed on the preconflict fertility regime. Malian Kel Tamasheq, many of whom fled violence and Mali to live in refugee camps for several years in the 1990s, are a rural, noncontracepting population for whom such pre- and postconflict data are available. BACKGROUND Kel Tamasheq1 live across Northern Mali, southern Algeria, Niger, and northern Burkina Faso. Most used to be archetypal nomadic pastoralists, herding goats, sheep, cattle, and camels, according to the local environment. Two populations of nomadic pastoralist Kel Tamasheq were studied in 1981 and 1982 (Randall, 1984, 1996). The delta Tamasheq at that time spent the dry season using pastures in the inner Niger delta,2 leaving in the wet season to move north and west into drier areas, such as the Mema—the semi-arid area to the west of the Niger delta—and toward Tombouctou (see map). This pattern of movement itself was relatively recent, with the Kel Tamasheq first entering the inner Niger delta in substantial numbers after the 1913 drought. Most of these delta Tamasheq were from the Cherifen and Kel Antessar confederations of warrior marabouts. The Gourma Tamasheq3 living south of the Niger bend, studied in 1982, included more of the vassal class and lower status free Kel Tamasheq; both areas were socially heterogeneous, with representatives of all the different Tamasheq social classes: warriors, religious maraboutic groups, vassals, lower status groups, blacksmiths, and slaves and ex-slaves. 1 The Kel Tamasheq are the people who speak Tamasheq, a Berber language. Some Tamasheq-speaking groups are also known as Tuareg. 2 In the dry Sahel with its limited seasonal rainfall, the inner Niger delta flood plain and river system are an extremely valuable source of water for both pasture and agriculture. It is an ethnically heterogenous zone dominated both economically and politically by Peul agropastoralists, who are the traditional managers of access to both land and pastures. Many other groups use the delta resources either seasonally or permanently, including Bozo transhumant fishers, Somono river transporters, and different groups of agriculturalists and herders. 3 In this paper no data are presented from the Gourma survey because the 2001 study did not restudy these groups—who mainly took refuge in Burkina Faso during the rebellion. However the Gourma Tamasheq in the early 1980s had an almost identical demographic regime to the Delta Tamasheq including the social class mortality differentials, relatively low fertility and a similar marriage regime.
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Fertility of Malian Tamasheq Repatriated Refugees: The Impact of Forced Migration Other pastoralist populations, such as Maures, Arabs, and Fulani, also exploit the Gourma pastures, and most groups have some traditional rights over access to the River Niger for water and pastures. All along the river there are Songhay villages practicing various forms of flood retreat and irrigated agriculture. In precolonial times there were close economic and commercial links between the different pastoralist and agricultural groups in the area, since each needs the products, resources, and skills of the other. According to Marty (1999), as part of their attempts to control the Kel Tamasheq, the French tried to sever and disrupt these links with long-term deleterious consequences, since “survival was only possible with human groups from different societies endowed with both human and natural resources allowing complementary subsistence strategies, starting with grain and livestock. In this Sahelien environment, where resources vary considerably over time and space, stability is only possible with systems which allow adjustments and exchange of services between ethnic groups and between different economic activities which are each essential for the other” (p. 290, author’s translation). Thus in both areas the Kel Tamasheq have long been part of a multiethnic environment with considerable contacts and interdependencies between different groups.
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Fertility of Malian Tamasheq Repatriated Refugees: The Impact of Forced Migration Tamasheq warriors, maraboutic classes, and vassals, along with some other lower status free Kel Tamasheq, are all descended from Arab and Berber populations who crossed the Sahara, probably in the 15th and 16th centuries. Tamasheq is a Berber language; physically most higher status Kel Tamasheq are fair-skinned North Africans and are variously referred to both by themselves and other Malians as red (rouges) or white (blanches). The warrior class (a tiny minority) were also called Tuareg and in recent years this nomenclature has been extended in Mali to refer to all the higher status fair-skinned Kel Tamasheq. As in many West African communities, slavery was a well-established institution in precolonial times, and most Kel Tamasheq slaves (iklan or Bella4) were originally captured in raids on villages and other communities living in these ethnically mixed areas. Bella are black African and speak Tamasheq, yet they clearly have genetic origins different from the Berber Tamasheq. Although many slaves were liberated in the colonial period and after independence, de facto ownership of slaves still continued at the time of the 1981-1982 surveys, with many high-status Tamasheq having resident Bella to do most domestic and herding work. The 1981-1982 surveys included both these domestic Bella and Bella who had been freed for several generations.5 Another group of Bella, not studied in 1981-1982, are sedentary share-croppers who work the fields owned by some Tuareg, particularly lands around Lake Faguibine. Few, if any, of the Tuareg surveyed in 1981-1982 actually used sharecropping, getting most of their grain from the sale of animals, from gathering wild grains, or from their Bella who used to work 4 The Tamasheq word for the slave class, iklan, is a term with pejorative overtones. In Mali, this group of black Tamasheq slaves and ex-slaves is generally known by the Songhay term Bella, which I use here. There are many different categories of Bella; some were liberated by their masters generations ago, some were liberated by the French, and others left their masters when successive laws abolished slavery. Gradual impoverishment of Malian Kel Tamasheq in recent decades has resulted in many Bella leaving the pastoral sector altogether. 5 In this paper I use the term Tuareg to refer to the higher status, fair-skinned Berber population and Bella for the black African ex-slaves. In the rebellion only the Tuareg were persecuted and forced to flee. Ideally, demographic analysis would also distinguish blacksmiths, who are a separate class of free Tamasheq, but their numbers are too small. Because this class is also black African, because they were not persecuted, and because their women have always been very economically active, they are included in the Bella category for all the analyses below.
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Fertility of Malian Tamasheq Repatriated Refugees: The Impact of Forced Migration on the harvest for other populations in the area. Other groups of Malian Tuareg received (and receive) substantial amounts of grain from their fields—usually worked by Bella. Blacksmiths are an endogamous caste group who traditionally made and repaired all the metal, wooden, and leather articles in return for which they received milk, grain, cash, and protection. Blacksmith families were usually attached to a Tuareg patron with whom they transhumed (i.e., moving with livestock on a circuit following seasonally available pastures), although many have now moved to villages or towns, where they sell their goods in the markets. French colonial perceptions were largely responsible for the well-established idea that Tuareg had low fertility (Gallais, 1975), and the French also thought that Bella had low fertility. Low fertility was confirmed by the 1980s surveys, which showed the Kel Tamasheq (both Tuareg and Bella) studied to be demographically unusual for Sub-Saharan African populations. Heterogeneity in terms of production, environment, and social organization in the Kel Tamasheq population in Mali means that one cannot generalize about all Malian Kel Tamasheq demography; still, some of the specifics almost certainly apply elsewhere. The demographic regime was typified by relatively low fertility,6 largely a function of the nuptiality regime, and unusual patterns of mortality differentials. Higher status (and usually wealthier) Tuareg children had much higher mortality than low-status blacksmith and Bella children (Hill and Randall, 1984). In both the delta and the Gourma, Tuareg women had higher mortality than blacksmith and Bella women, but the opposite was the case for adult men. Although extramarital childbearing was more acceptable for Bella, overall their total fertility was similar to that of the Tuareg (Randall and Winter, 1985). This demographic regime has been interpreted largely as a consequence of cultural values, in which the economic and social role of women had a major impact on demographic outcomes (Randall, 1984; Fulton and Randall, 1988). In these two regions, Tuareg women were traditionally respected in the home and expected to do little domestic work; this was possible because of the dependent slave population. Class-based behavioral differences were reinforced by force-feeding many rich Tuareg girls and young women; subsequent obesity meant that many were physically unable 6 Total fertility rate between 5 and 6 compared with over 7 for other rural Malian populations.
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Fertility of Malian Tamasheq Repatriated Refugees: The Impact of Forced Migration to do much work. The population is monogamous despite being Muslim, and women rarely accepted co-wives, threatening to leave the marriage if their husbands attempted polygamy. Tuareg women contributed little to the household economy; would demand food, goods, and material things from their husbands;7 and often did little active child care. Given that there were no effective health services to mediate between a child’s illness and death other than the daily care the child received, child care patterns are thought to have been largely responsible for the differential mortality rates between social classes (Hill and Randall, 1984). There was, however, substantial diversity over both space and time. The extent of both force-feeding and slavery had been declining for at least two decades before the 1981-1982 demographic surveys, but in the populations studied they were still quite frequent. In some areas of Mali, Kel Tamasheq had become less nomadic as a consequence of herd loss in the 1973 drought; simultaneously there was a decline in the domestic slave population, with Bella either moving to urban areas or becoming independent herders. Although some urban Kel Tamasheq were highly educated, in the two populations studied in 1981-1982 everyone was nomadic, few had been to modern school,8 and there was little contact with modern health services. Most people lived in relatively small, isolated camps (20-40 people). Men had contact with the outside world through travel and movement to markets, and most women led very restricted lives. A major drought in 1985 led to substantial herd losses, population movements, food aid, and a mushrooming of international and local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Dependent Bella left their owners, people moved temporarily to the towns, and some groups started to sedentarize—that is, abandon the highly mobile, nomadic lifestyle (Randall and Giuffrida, 2003). Those who remained nomadic became less isolated, with increased knowledge about the outside world and contact with development projects. In 1990 rebellion broke out first in Niger and was followed by an attack in east Mali. Thereafter small bands of armed Tuareg attacked military and administrative posts, sometimes killing the incumbents, usually stealing vehicles. The MPLA (Mouvement Populaire pour la Libération de 7 Miscarriage is believed to be provoked by a woman wanting something she can’t have. 8 Only one woman of the 3,000 interviewed could speak French; she was an interviewer in the 2001 study.
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Fertility of Malian Tamasheq Repatriated Refugees: The Impact of Forced Migration l’Azawad) was created with the aim of liberating Tuareg territories in the north. The Malian army responded at first by patrolling the areas and then clashed with the rebels. Despite negotiations mediated by the Algerians, the rebel attacks increased in intensity throughout early 1991 and gradually expanded westward toward Tombouctou and the Mema. As the rebel attacks increased, so did those of the Malian army on both Tuareg and Maures, and men, women, and children were killed in several camps and communities. The general Malian population became incited against the “reds,” and there were popular attacks and raids against shops owned by Tuareg and Maures throughout northern and central Mali. Skin color and physical appearance were major factors identifying those who were attacked; after the “massacre de Lere” in May 1991, Tuareg in the Niger delta and the Mema areas started to flee en masse to Mauritania9 (elsewhere people fled to Algeria, Niger, and Burkina Faso) just across the border. Some took their herds and tried to continue to be nomadic pastoralists in Mauritania, although they faced major problems with access to water and wells; some consumed many of their animals en route; others left everything behind. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the World Food Programme, and various NGOs responded rapidly to the huge influx of people, and three refugee camps were set up just inside Mauritania. Conditions were poor at first because of the scale of the crisis and the isolation of the area, which was several hours’ rough drive from Mauritania’s main arterial road. People continued to flood into the refugee camps through 1991 and 1992 and into 1993. The majority stayed until 1996, although spontaneous repatriations and movements away from the camps occurred throughout the period. Nevertheless, the main waves into the Mauritanian refugee camps occurred in 1991, and the main wave out occurred in 1996 under a repatriation program run by UNHCR and the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) after the signing of various peace agreements. Many people spent about 4 or 5 years in the refugee camps. Although the majority of camp residents had previously been nomadic pastoralists, there were also people who had sedentarized after the 1985 drought, along with Kel Tamasheq and Maure civil servants, teachers, trad- 9 Most people in the Mema left because there was nowhere there to hide. Further north, around Goundam and Tombouctou, some fled but others hid with their animals in the mountains and the desert.
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Fertility of Malian Tamasheq Repatriated Refugees: The Impact of Forced Migration ers, craftsmen, and students—people who would normally have had limited contact with the nomadic pastoralists either professionally or during holidays. A few Bella and blacksmiths fled with their patrons, but Bella were not persecuted and many stayed behind, some with the animals, some leaving the pastoral sector altogether. For the nomadic pastoralist majority, there were many changes brought about by being in the refugee camps, including being fixed in one place with many people from other social groups, other lineages, and those who had been educated and had moved outside the pastoral sector and zone. This led to a huge scope for a substantial social life, particularly for young people. Rudimentary health care provisions developed into immunization programs and free health and maternity care. Whereas previously nomadic delta Kel Tamasheq drank water from marshes and the river, boreholes now provided clean tap water. In later years, schools were set up in the refugee camps, and some women received training to facilitate economic independence after repatriation. The numbers of people in the three refugee camps10 fluctuated over time, and there are no precise estimates. There is evidence that in the early period the numbers were considerably inflated in order to receive more per capita rations. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that some local Mauritanians moved into the camps in order to benefit from resources. UNHCR data on repatriation (Sperl, 2000) indicates that 43,712 individuals (both Tamasheq and Maure) were repatriated between 1995 and 1997, suggesting that the camps may have contained rather more than this at their peak. NGOs estimated that about 55,000 people were in the refugee camps in 1995, of whom about 65 percent were Tamasheq (ACORD et al., 1995). The situation of high numbers of people settled in close proximity to each other was substantially different from the previous low-density mobile lifestyle. There were other Tamasheq in Mauritania during the conflict—people who went directly to cities, some who formed small unofficial camps, some who transhumed around the refugee camps and who had close kin in the camps—maintaining the tradition of using mobility and diversification to maximize resources. 10 The three camps were all within about 30 kilometers of each other, close to the Mali-Mauritania frontier, and remote from any Mauritanian infrastructure. A fourth camp was opened when one of the others was closed. In the camps, people were organized into quartiers or districts, each of which had an appointed chief as representative.
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Fertility of Malian Tamasheq Repatriated Refugees: The Impact of Forced Migration Repatriation made further changes to lifestyle. Part of the repatriation package presented by UNHCR included promises to build schools, drill wells, and help develop infrastructure in the specific destinations that refugees were obliged to name and return to. This encouraged sedentarization and has led to a proliferation of wells surrounded by small settlements (Randall and Giufrrida, 2003). People with few or no animals (and many people had lost most of their animals) no longer needed to be mobile, and many of those who retained animals claimed now to have seen the benefits of a stationary lifestyle. This sedentarization was compounded by pressure from women who, without domestic labor, would have to do all the pitching and striking of nomadic camps themselves. Thus, after repatriation, much of the population is sedentarized, fewer are totally dependent on a pastoral economy, there is little unpaid domestic labor available, and women are thinner. Very fat women suffered terribly during the flight, and there is now a consensus that substantial obesity poses problems in times of insecurity. Not only are there no longer the resources and milk surpluses to force-feed girls, but also the majority of girls no longer wish to be extremely fat. Other changes include an increased acceptability of education for both boys and girls; increased knowledge about and demand for modern health services; better quality water, which is usually also close at hand; changing domestic roles of women, who now have to do more work in the household; and increased acceptability and willingness to undertake agriculture. The population is more highly politicized and feels vulnerable about being physically conspicuous in Mali, with many believing there could be future violence against them. STUDYING THE IMPACTS OF FORCED MIGRATION ON FERTILITY In examining the various stages of fertility-related repercussions of forced migration, it is essential to consider the context of preconflict patterns of reproduction, attitudes to fertility, determinants of fertility, and perception of the reproduction of both one’s own group and neighboring populations, particularly when they too were involved in the conflict. Figure 1 outlines a framework for considering these stages of the forced migration process and speculates about the differing weight of fertility determinants at each stage. Three basic periods of forced migration can be identified, although each specific situation has its own complexities and modifications. Disorder
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Fertility of Malian Tamasheq Repatriated Refugees: The Impact of Forced Migration FIGURE 1 Conceptualization of phases of forced migration and impacts on fertility.
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Fertility of Malian Tamasheq Repatriated Refugees: The Impact of Forced Migration TABLE 6 Odds Ratios of Knowledge About Contraception Methods Variable Modern Behavioral Traditional Any Method Mobility 1.36 * ns 1.57 * 1.37 * Litadult 1.54 * 1.67 * ns 1.53 * Litwoman 4.25 ** 3.32 ** 3.05 ** 3.89 ** Status 0.64 ** ns ns 0.70 * Urbliv ns 1.71 * 2.28 *** ns CEB ns 0.94 * ns ns Refugee ns ns ns ns Age group ns ns ns ns * = p < 0.05 ** p < 0.01 ***p < 0.001 CEB = Children ever born. contraception but not behavioral or traditional methods, whereas those who had ever lived in towns or villages (multiethnic populations with some health services) knew more about traditional and behavioral methods than those who had always lived only in Tamasheq camps or sites. Knowledge about any form of fertility control was unrelated to a woman’s age. With the exception of the lack of impact of refugee camps, these results are hardly surprising. However, a proviso must be added. The data are really measuring, not knowledge about fertility control, but rather a willingness to admit to that knowledge. This explains the impact of education (both of the woman and her household) and of living in a village or urban area. The interviewers were such women and often developed the best rapport with similar women. The strong ethos of shame in Tamasheq society, along with a belief that fertility control is contrary to Islamic law, means that many women would not admit to knowing about any form of fertility control, because such knowledge might reflect adversely on them. Education, contact with educated adults, and life in more cosmopolitan communities (which involves such contact) all tended to break down these traditional barriers and make the women more open to such conversations. All the interviewers felt strongly that many women were denying knowledge that they had, but it is not clear whether such denial was related to having lived in the refugee camps. Although the process of the rebellion, forced migration, and refugee camp living were not apparently related to knowledge or use of contraception, one of the consequences of the forced migration was that a few former
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Fertility of Malian Tamasheq Repatriated Refugees: The Impact of Forced Migration civil servants and city dwellers decided to abandon their urban jobs and come to live in rural communities after repatriation. The wives and daughters of these men made up a majority of both women who had lived in towns or villages and those who were literate: 45 percent of literate women had lived in villages or towns compared with 9 percent of illiterate women. Thus although residence in refugee camps may not have transformed knowledge, the sociopolitical consequences of the rebellion mean that a more heterogeneous female population now lives in the rural areas, mainly in the sedentarized sites, and they may well influence reproductive behavior in the near future. Other Proximate Determinants of Fertility Other proximate determinants of fertility were considered, but there seems to have been little change engendered by the forced migration. Levels of primary sterility among younger currently married women were slightly higher than in 1981 (and for both periods are higher than for Mali as a whole (République du Mali, 1996), but the increase is largely among the nonrefugee population, and the numbers are small (Figure 14). Breast-feeding behavior does not seem to have altered—all women breast-fed, as in 1981—and ideally they wean at 24 months unless another pregnancy intervenes. No data are available on supplementation. CONCLUSIONS Despite mass forced migration, substantial social change (change in production, way of life, and loss of domestic slaves), and a prolonged period in refugee camps, the overall fertility of the Tamasheq has remained remarkably stable, with little observable difference between 1981 and 2001. This stability does mask more subtle changes in both fertility and marital behavior, most of which can be shown to be temporarily associated with either flight, residence in the refugee camps, or repatriation. This suggests that, for this particular population, the general stability may be a function of the fact that the crisis was not accompanied by large massacres and total social disorder. People fled to avoid this, and as such the flight was successful. Mobility is the normal response for this population to changing resource availability and the spatial and seasonal distribution of stress, the movement to the refugee camps and the tented accommodation in the camps did not represent a major change in physical living conditions. In
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Fertility of Malian Tamasheq Repatriated Refugees: The Impact of Forced Migration FIGURE 14 Percentage Tamasheq and Malian women with no live births by age (Mali data from 1996 DHS). contrast, it was the lack of mobility once in the camps, the high population density, and the loss of livelihood and independence that was the fundamental disruption to them as well as a general improvement in health, education, and sanitation services and living in a much larger and more diverse local community. This study was originally undertaken to focus on these socioeconomic and political changes and their impact on demographic behavior. It was thought that for a minority ethnic group with a traditionally dispersed population, a period of five years in densely populated refugee camps was likely to engender pronatalism and deliberate changes in fertility behavior. In 1981 the Tamasheq showed themselves to be very demographically aware—possibly because their literate leaders had read the colonial archives, which were often obsessed with Tamasheq demography and low fertility. They were conscious of the fact that their fertility was lower and their mortality higher than other Malian populations; they were already concerned about this in 1981. The 1981 study had shown that their low fertil-
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Fertility of Malian Tamasheq Repatriated Refugees: The Impact of Forced Migration ity and low growth rates were largely a consequence of monogamy, frequent divorce and widowhood, and, for reproductive-age women, long periods of being unmarried. For a Muslim population, for whom polygamy is a theoretical option, such a situation would allow for the development of deliberate pronatalism that could easily be acted on; an increase in polygamy levels would allow a substantial increase in fertility. Pronatalist responses are not unheard of among displaced populations. The Palestinians have much higher fertility than would be expected for their educational achievement and general level of development, despite which, during the Intifada, they managed to increase already high fertility, especially in the Gaza Strip (Pedersen, Randall, and Khawaja, 2001) in response to pronatalist exhortations. However in the new order period for the Malian Kel Tamasheq, there is no evidence of such pronatalism nor of an increase in polygamy. In order to draw lessons from the experience of this population in terms of understanding the impact of forced migration on reproduction, one needs to focus on the original temporal framework of disorder, limbo, and new order. Tamasheq fertility was temporarily disrupted during disorder, with a rebound (as in a famine) after conditions improved. Because the flight and the living conditions in the refugee camps did not represent a major break with preconflict lifestyle, the temporary disruption was slight, and it is likely that the more intense the disruption and disorder, the greater the impact on fertility. For the Tamasheq there was further slight disruption during repatriation, which in this case also included an element of disorder. The multivariate analysis indicates that the impact on fertility was due to nuptiality changes in that period rather than biological stresses, suggesting that this cannot be generalized to other populations who may not have such a flexible marriage regime as the Tamasheq. Overall, the gross fertility levels of the population have remained largely unchanged since 1981, and the new order is virtually indistinguishable from the old order. Disaggregation of the population suggests that both the refugees and the nonrefugees were affected by the rebellion and the forced migration, but in different ways that are masked if one looks at the entire population. Subtle changes in rates of marital dissolution and in patterns of age at first marriage suggest social responses to the changing circumstances; these responses are even more marked for the nonrefugees (who were often internally and externally displaced) than for those who were in the refugee camps. The changing reproductive behavior of those who were not in the refugee camps is a constant theme, although as a relatively small proportion
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Fertility of Malian Tamasheq Repatriated Refugees: The Impact of Forced Migration of the overall population, they have little overall impact on fertility dynamics. Although it was predicted that the original characteristics of this population would mean that refugee camp residence would have a major impact on attitudes and behavior, it may be instead that the nomadic lifestyle, which most had lived before, meant that the continuity was more important than the transformation, at least in physical terms. Nomadism is, of course, very specific to this particular group and would be unlikely to apply to many other situations of forced migration. For these Kel Tamasheq people, repatriation has had as much impact on reproductive behavior as the original crisis, with several indices of demographic well-being deteriorating since repatriation—such as stillbirth rates and the mortality differentials between children with related parents and those with unrelated parents. Estimates of maternal mortality suggest that this remains a huge reproductive health problem. Using the sisterhood method (Graham et al., 1989), the lifetime risk of a maternal death is estimated as 1 in 8, almost double the national level (République du Mali, 1996). As an indirect estimate, this cannot be disaggregated into refugees and nonrefugees, but it is certainly a major reproductive issue for both. Questions on ideal family size and intentions to use contraception, when they were taken seriously, often elicited the response that women wanted no children or would like to use contraception, not through any desire to limit numbers of children but because they were terrified of pregnancy and childbirth. Although this case study does not demonstrate substantial fertility-related consequences of forced migration, it does allow consideration of the potential impact of other forced migration situations. First, the consequences on all aspects of reproduction will vary over the period of forced migration and according to the intensity of the crisis. Second, the reproduction of the internally displaced and nonrefugee population must be considered as well as that of the visible refugee population in camps. Social, political, and local environmental changes engendered by the crisis may differ for the two groups, but each has to protect its members and continue to reproduce itself. Precrisis reproductive strategies, which in this case were endogamy, marriage alliances, and reproductive behaviors intimately tied up with identity to the group, may be reinforced and entrenched to emphasize separateness from other groups; this may explain the particular changes observed in age at first marriage and spousal choice as well as the maintenance of monogamy, in which the economic costs and value of both women
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Fertility of Malian Tamasheq Repatriated Refugees: The Impact of Forced Migration and children have changed significantly. Third, the consequences of forced migration for reproduction need to be considered at a range of different levels: biological, psychological, socioeconomic, and political. The social and demographic history of the population in an ecological and political environment are as much a part of the response to forced migration as the hardship, hunger, and spousal separation. That is why it is important to understand the story of the many individual populations in a national conflict, and why national pictures may frequently be distorted. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The 1981 demographic survey of the delta Tamasheq was financed by the International Livestock Centre for Africa as part of its socioeconomic research program, directed by Jeremy Swift. Further work on Tamasheq demography in 1982 was financed by the Population Council. The Economic and Social Research Council funded the study of the demography of repatriated Tamasheq refugees (grant no. R000238184), which was undertaken in collaboration with the Institut Supérieur de Formation et Recherche Appliquée (ISFRA), Université du Mali, Bamako. Alessandra Giuffrida undertook the anthropological component of this study and provided valuable contributions to and comments on this paper.
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Fertility of Malian Tamasheq Repatriated Refugees: The Impact of Forced Migration REFERENCES Agadjanian, V., and N. Prata 2002 War, peace and fertility in Angola. Demography 39(2):215-231. Agency for Co-operation and Research in Development, Oxfam, and Netherlands Organisation for International Development Co-operation 1995 Nord du Mali : De la tragedie à l’Espoir. Bamako, Mali: Organisation for International Development Co-operation. Ashton, B., K. Hill, J. Piazza, and R. Zeitz 1984 Famine in China 1958-61. Population and Development Review 10(4):613-645. Brass, W. 1968 The Demography of Tropical Africa. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Courbage, Y. 1995 The population of Palestine. Population: An English Selection 7:210-220. Dyson, T. 1991 On the demography of South Asian famines (Parts I & II). Population Studies 45(1):5-25 and 45(2):279-297. Fulton, D.J.R., and S. Randall 1988 Households, women’s roles and prestige as factors determining nuptiality and fertility differentials in Mali. Pp. 191-211 in J. Caldwell, A. Hill, and V. Hull (eds.), Micro Approaches to Demographic Research. London: Kegan Paul International. Gallais, J. 1975 Pasteurs et Paysans du Gourma: La Condition Sahelienne. Paris: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. Graham, W., W. Brass, and R. Snow 1989 Estimating maternal mortality: The sisterhood method. Studies in Family Planning 20(3):125-135. Hill, A.G., and S. Randall 1984 Différences géographiques et sociales dans la mortalité infantile et juvenile au Mali. Population 39(6). Khawaja, M. 2000 The recent rise in Palestinian fertility: Permanent or transient? Population Studies 54(3):331-346. Leslie, P.W., and P. Fry 1989 Extreme seasonality of births among nomadic Turkana pastoralists. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 79:103-115. Lestaeghe, R. (ed.) 1989 Reproduction and Social Organisation in sub Saharan Africa. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. Lindstrom, D.P., and B. Berhanu 1999 The impact of war, famine and economic decline on marital fertility in Ethiopia. Demography 36(2):247-261.
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Fertility of Malian Tamasheq Repatriated Refugees: The Impact of Forced Migration Marty, A. 1999 La division sédentaires-nomades. Le cas de la boucle du Niger au début de la période coloniale. Pp. 289-306 in L. Holtedahl, S. Gerrard, M.Z. Njeuma, and J. Boutrais (eds.), Le Pouvoir du Savoir de l’Arctique aux Tropiques. Paris: Karthala. Médecins Sans Frontières 1997 Refugee Health: An Approach to Emergency Situations. New York: MacMillan Education LTD. Montgomery, M.R. 1998 Learning and lags in mortality perceptions. Pp. 112-137 in From Death to Birth: Mortality Decline and Reproductive Change. National Research Council, Committee on Population, M.R. Montgomery and B. Cohen, eds., Washington, DC: National Academy Press. National Research Council 2004 War, Humanitarian Crises, Population Displacement, and Fertility: A Review of Evidence. Kenneth Hill. Roundtable on the Demography of Forced Migration. Committee on Population, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education and Program on Forced Migration and Health at the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. Pedersen, J., S. Randall, and M. Khawaja, eds. 2001 Growing Fast: The Palestinian Population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. (Fafo report no. 353.) Oslo: Fafo Institute for Applied Social Science. Randall, S. 1984 A Comparative Demographic Study of Three Sahelian Populations: Marriage and Childcare as Intermediate Determinants of Fertility and Mortality, PhD thesis, London University. 1996 Whose reality? Local perceptions of fertility versus demographic analysis. Population Studies 50(2):221-234. Randall, S., and A. Giuffrida 2003 Forced Migration, Sedentarization and Social Change: Malian Kel Tamasheq. Paper presented at International Association for the Study of Forced Migration Biennial Conference, Chiang Mai, Thailand, January. Randall, S., and M.M. Winter 1985 The reluctant spouse and the illegitimate slave: Marriage, household formation and demographic behavior among Malian Kel Tamasheq. In A.G. Hill (ed.), Population Health and Nutrition in the Sahel. London: Kegan Paul International. République du Mali 1996 Enquête Demographique et Santé, Mali 1995-96. Bamako, Mali: Direction Nationale de la Statistique et de l’Informatique and Calverton, MD: Macro International. Sperl, S. 2000 International Refugee Aid and Social Change in Northern Mali. New Issues in Refugee Research . (Working Paper no. 22.) New York: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Watkins, S.C., and J. Menken 1985 Famines in historical perspective. Population and Development Review 11(4):647-675.
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Fertility of Malian Tamasheq Repatriated Refugees: The Impact of Forced Migration ABOUT THE AUTHOR Sara Randall has a BA in Anthropology and a PhD in Demography and is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Anthropology department at University College London. She first did research on Tamasheq demography for her PhD in 1981 and has worked extensively on the demography and health of mobile populations in Mali and Burkina Faso. Having also worked on Palestinian demography and developed an interest in the role of both forced migration and minority status on demographic behaviour, the particular experiences of Malian Kel Tamasheq in the rebellion and repatriation were an obvious research topic for the author. She has now developed a general research interest in the demographic consequences of conflict and forced migration particularly with respect to fertility and nuptiality. From her extensive field-based experience in challenging remote and multi-ethnic situations she has developed methodological interests in the production and meaning of demographic data and has focused on combining qualitative and quantitative approaches. These allow a better appreciation of robust demographic measures and concepts as well as an increased understanding of the determinants of demographic behaviour, especially amongst minority and marginalised populations.
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Fertility of Malian Tamasheq Repatriated Refugees: The Impact of Forced Migration The Committee on Population was established by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in 1983 to bring the knowledge and methods of the population sciences to bear on major issues of science and public policy. The committee’s work includes both basic studies of fertility, health and mortality, and migration and applied studies aimed at improving programs for the public health and welfare in the United States and in developing countries. The committee also fosters communication among researchers in different disciplines and countries and policy makers in government and international agencies. The Roundtable on the Demography of Forced Migration was established by the Committee on Population of the National Academy of Sciences in 1999. The Roundtable’s purpose is to serve as an interdisciplinary, nonpartisan focal point for taking stock of what is known about demographic patterns in refugee situations, applying this knowledge base to assist both policy makers and relief workers, and stimulating new directions for innovation and scientific inquiry in this growing field of study. The Roundtable meets yearly and has also organized a series of workshops (held concurrently with Roundtable meetings) on some of the specific aspects of the demography of refugee and refugee-like situations, including mortality patterns, demographic assessment techniques, and research ethics in complex humanitarian emergencies. The Roundtable is composed of experts from academia, government, philanthrophy, and international organizations. Other Publications of the Roundtable on the Demography of Forced Migration Psychosocial Concepts in Humanitarian Work with Children: A Review of the Concepts and Related Literature (2003) Initial Steps in Rebuilding the Health Sector in East Timor (2003) Malaria Control During Mass Population Movements and Natural Disasters (2003) Research Ethics in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies: Summary of a Workshop (2002) Demographic Assessment Techniques in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies: Summary of a Workshop (2002) Forced Migration and Mortality (2001)
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