Thursday, July 26, 2007

The suffering Sudanese refugees in Egypt

What is happening to the Sudanese refugees in Egypt is the worse that could befall a refugee. I am getting reliable information of summary arrests, intimidation and beatings of the refugees. What is filtering into the media is just the tip of the iceberg.

Egypt is bend on preventing the refugees from crossing into Israel, killing afew every other day. Their are hundreds languishing in Egyptian prisons, like the infamous "Haris al Awal" prison somewhere near the Israeli border. What is the Sudanese government doing? What is the SPLM doing? What is the UNHCR doing? What deal has the Egyptians struck with the Israeli government to prevent the border crossings?

The brutality with which the Egyptian police is responding is utterly unwarranted. How can you shoot unarmed civilians? Even if they try to cross the border illegally? Unless they are drug smugglers, I see no reason at all. It brings to mind the massacre of the Sudanese refugees in December 2005, when more than 100 (officially 23) died and hundreds others missing.

Conspiracy theories abound about it all: that Egypt does not want to let the refugees either go further or return home! How are they benefiting from their stay? Millions of dollars are being sent every year into Egypt from relatives abroad to their families left behind in Egypt. It may sound rediculous, but you are welcome to do the statistics. If that is not the case, why is even the voluntary repatriation been stopped?

I respect Egyptian authority to try to settle the issues, but they should be more prudent in their approaches. Killing them makes the situation worse.

7 comments:

Daana said...

BK...I have also heard and read a lot about the horrible treatments sudanese refugees are getting in egypt. The sad thing is not only are they being mistreated by the authorities (because they even treat their own ppl that way), but also the amount of discrimination and racism the refugees are getting from egyptian people as well. Many egyptian bloggers have talked about this. some were sympathetic and some were talking about how these people are taking up space, and costing the country too much that should be given 2 egyptian people instead. My answer is yes egypt is benefitting from the money sent 2 these refugees, not only from their relatives but also from refugee organizations. THe egyptian government is not giving these ppl any kind of financial or moral support. Egyptian government has a long history of betraying sudan and the sudanese people. Beginnig from the time of the Turkish control when they entered as invaders with the turks. I may blog about that soon.

Roman Kalik said...

Regarding Israeli deals with Egypt, the only one that comes to mind is Mubarak agreeing to take back a certain number of asylum-seekers who illegally crossed the border, and whom Israel doesn't consider to be refugees. This was chiefly because Israel doesn't have diplomatic ties with some of the countries of origin, such as Sudan (Israel isn't deporting Darfurians though).

Other than that, there has been a lot pressure on Egypt to secure their side of the border, because of arms entering Gaza.

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