Questions over durable solutions in the social, political and security terrain of southern Sudan and northern Uganda invite recognition that simple delineations between “home” and “exile” are inadequate to understanding displacement and refugee status. Contrary to existing policies assuming an unproblematic repatriation of Sudanese refugees from their protracted exile in Uganda to a “post conflict” Sudan, the emerging reality is that multiple strategies of survival, self-protection and development are being employed. This paper, drawing on long-term research in several Sudanese refugee settlements in northern Uganda since the mid-1990s, explores the variety and ingenuity with which refugees address challenges to livelihoods, identities and security with a portfolio of responses which render the notion of a straightforward cross-border movement “home” largely notional.