Florence Ncube is a PhD candidate in anthropology. Her research interests straddle along military studies, violence, and migration. Her PhD examines the post military lives of Rwandan army deserters who, after escaping the post-conflict Rwandan army, live as exiles in South Africa. This work seeks to understand the transition of these former soldiers, from military to post military life in exile, particularly where they are being ‘hunted’ by the Rwandan state. It further investigates the ways in which Rwandan army deserters navigate surveillance and state sponsored violence, allegedly perpetrated by Rwandan state security agents who hide behind the violent subcultures of South Africa. Ncube has been a teaching assistant, a tutor, and mentor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of the Western Cape, in South Africa. She is also an affiliate member of the International Refugee Law Initiative and was recently invited to join the editorial board of the Journal of Critical Military Studies.
The proposed study examines the lived experiences of Rwandan refugees in Cape Town who have become targets of sporadic politically motivated attacks, in South Africa's townships, by the External Services Organization, a Rwandan spy organization which perceives them as threats to the Kagame administration. The study seeks to investigate the Rwandan Patriotic Front's reach in the migrant's everyday lives and how these attacks have shaped the everyday lives of migrants and how they navigate the dangerous townships where they live. The study further seeks to find out what kind of identities the exile situation produced among these refugees. Attacks of high profile army personnel who have become vocal critics of the Kagame administration have received considerable media and scholarly attention yet those of junior soldiers and the generality of the refugees remain silenced.