Is migration a consequence of the 'imperial debris' left behind after the ambiguous process of decolonization?
Migration is the movement of people from one nation to another due to political, economic or social factors. Human migration intensified after the First World War and also after decolonization. Migration can be temporarily or permanently in which people move to another area or country and settles there completely. For instance, the recent political upheaval in the Middle East and the north of Africa has forced many people to migrate to Europe for economic and political asylum. After decolonization, migration increased due to the ruination that was caused by the ambiguous and hurried abandonment of colonies. Previously, Britain and other colonial powers were the sources of economic and agricultural development of the colonies which led to the creation of jobs and improvement of standards of living in the colony. However, the hurried decolonization interfered with the economic development and political stability of the colonies which led to reduced standards of living and political insecurities. As a result, many people who were previously the residents of the colonies moved to the west in such of better living conditions, job opportunities and safety due to political insecurity such as the assassination of leaders (Engerman & Sokoloff, 2005).
Imperial Debris and Migration
Imperial debris refers to the past ruination of colonies which was caused by the shift of power and institutions when the colonial authorities decided to abandon the territories they formerly occupied without proper planning. During the post-colonial era, most of the colonies started experiencing political transition problems as the people competing for leadership positions and influence in the community. Lack of proper leadership transition and the preparation of the indigenous leaders posed significant political strife in the countries that were previously colonies. As a result, many people moved to the western nations in fear of being targeted by their political foes. Imperial debris which are the post-colonial problems in the colonies was a major cause of migration to the west. Amongst other problems, the colonizers had exploited entirely most of the resources in the colonies while leaving behind people who were divided into cultural lines. The introduction of the western culture in the colonized countries and people was a source of conflict, and some people were persecuted due to their continued practice of western religions and education (Chilcote, 1974).
Ambiguous Decolonization Process
Before the creation of the United Nations in 1945, many people in the world at the time lived in non-self-governing areas that were dependent on colonial powers. In 1960, the United Nations adopted the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries, and People which was aimed at speeding up the process of decolonization and the declaration stated that all people have the right to self-determination and colonialism was to be brought to an unconditional end. As a result, there were no ground plans for decolonization which resulted in the collapse of the infrastructure and institutions that were previously being used by the colonial governments (Engerman & Sokoloff, 2005).
British hurried decolonization process had a significant impact on the overall wellbeing of the colonies. Upon the declaration of Freedom of Man by the United Nations, colonial powers such as Britain hurriedly started exiting from colonies. Most of the colonial powers such as Britain had policies that affected the future of the colonies. For instance, the Britain colonial government had a significant influence on the overall crisis in Sudan by uniting different communities to create a single country. What resulted is a continued political struggle between the Arabs and the indigenous African communities in Sudan. The subsequent political conflicts in Sudan which has claimed thousands of lives and led to economic stagnation of Sudan despite having immense resources were caused by the hurried decolonization of the Sudan colony by the British government. At a Juba conference in 1947, Britain agreed to include the south and the north Sudan to form a single unitary system to end the isolation of South Sudan which had significantly affected the country development. However, the decolonization process could only marginalize the people from South Sudan who later formed militant rebel groups to fight for equality during the unitary system. For instance, a major source of political animosity between the south and the north can be pointed out in the 1948 legislative assembly which allocated most seats to the North, and only one Member of Parliament was appointed to represent the south.
The Britain colonial officials voted down the federal system of government and led to the heightening of the conflict between the south and the north. Despite the British promises that the people from South Sudan were to be included in the civil service it was not implemented which further indicates the marginalization of the South which was undertaken by the Britain colonial government (Griffiths et al., p. 434, 2005). Today, as a result of political instability in South Sudan, many people have migrated to Kenya and other east African nations which enjoys relative peace. The primary cause of the migration of the people of Sudan is poverty, economic marginalization, poor political representation and poor resources exploitation due to the domination of the North Sudan government. As a result, the South Sudan government and economy has been in ruins and does not have proper systems and infrastructure to create development for the people of South Sudan a situation that was started by the Britain government marginalization of the south and hurried policies for decolonization that did not take into consideration the plight of the people in the south.
Hurried Improvised Withdrawal of Britain from India
In the south of Indian Ocean, Britain was in control over India which at the time included the territories that are today recognized as Pakistan. The hurried withdrawal of Britain from India led to the partitioning of India into two states that were divided into religious lines. As a result of the partitioning of India, many people had to migrate to areas where they were more comfortable and free to conduct worship and lead a life that meets their cultural needs. The conflict between Pakistan and India due to boundary disputes has led to the displacement of many people who are caught between the areas that are under conflict (Atkin et al., 2011). As a result of the partitioning of India, many Muslims migrated from Eastern Punjab to Pakistan. The partitioning of India led to conflicts between the Muslims and the Hindus across the boundaries, and many people have migrated from these regions to other parts of the world to seek peace and economic opportunities.
Decolonization Led To the Expulsion of Settlers and African White Regime Sympathizers
In African nations such as Kenya, Uganda, and Rhodesia many settlers had already established lucrative businesses while others were given administrative roles to lead in the administration of the colonies. However, when the agenda of decolonization started to be agitated many white people and foreigners in the colonies started to migrate to countries that were still under the control of the white man such as South Africa. The agitation of decolonization by the indigenous people made it not secure for the settlers who had been unjust and cruel in implementing colonial policies and had to leave. Most of the settlers held important jobs in the society such as lecturers, administrators, and managers in major colonial industrial complexes. The exit of the settlers led to the collapse of industries, education institutions of higher learning and also administration became a power struggle between African elite leaders (Cross & African migration alliance founding workshop. 2006). Most of the institutions were not managed well, and their standards started to drop. As a result, many African elites immigrated to the western countries and the United States to acquire education to be able to govern the new Free states. Apart from education, other people were forced to flee from their home countries especially in African colonies where the competition for power and property left behind by the white settlers was intense and bloody. Further, there was a group of African collaborators during the fight for independence especially in African countries who had to flee from their home countries because they were perceived as enemies to the freedom of the former colonies. In some countries, those that had embraced the western culture were persecuted for abandoning their culture which was a source of immigration to the western countries which could give them asylum (Ammassari, 2009).
Decolonization process is the process through which former colonies which were former colonies gained self-rule, and the colonial powers relinquished control and their influence on the countries. After decolonization, many former colonies assumed new forms of government while others borrowed from their former colonial masters. However, due to the persecution of the indigenous people in the colonies by the colonial masters, some of the colonies were able to revive past forms of governance before the arrival of the colonial rule. Therefore, the decolonization process required preparation and planning to ensure its success and foster prosperous institutions in the post-colonial era. The decolonization process happened in conjunction with many contributing factors that influenced the decision of the colonial masters to let go their hold on colonies which were lucrative as overseas sources of raw materials, pride and market for their manufactured goods. As a result, the decolonization process was hurried by pressure from the United States and the United Nations which viewed colonization as a major hindrance to the development of a free market and capitalist economies. During the post-war era, new relationships between countries were established which further pressured the colonial masters to relinquish control over colonies (Ooi, 2004).
During the decolonization process in 1949, the Dutch East Indies became a free, independent state, and after the decolonization, many people moved to the Netherlands. The movement of people from former colonies to the colonizers was based on juridical citizenship and shared history between the colony and the former masters. Other colonial masters such as France, Britain, and Spain perceived the former colonies as communities due to their shared culture and people from the colony were allowed to migrate to the west to acquire education and also to work in industries. In Portugal, the country was able to maintain its identity as a nation and recognized the colonies as transnational diaspora which incorporated the people of Africa and Asia. However, after decolonization, Portugal created new policies especially the legislation of nationality that was initiated in 1975 which retreated from the former principle that allowed citizenship based on the place of birth and a new principle was established in which citizenship was recognized only for those with Portuguese ancestry. Former settler communities in former colonies such as Angola, Guinea, Cape Verde Islands and Mozambique rushed to return to Portugal for those with partly or fully of Portuguese ancestry even for those born in Africa and having an African parent were able to acquire Portuguese nationality (Schwarz, 2017).
The Britain decolonization process curtailed the movement of commonwealth citiz...
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