سودانيزاونلاين.كوم sudaneseonline.com 10/9/2005 4:53 pm
Sir --- Sudanese refugees in Cairo are in terrible and dire situation. Due to difficulties of living here in Cairo, they made a set in -demonsterations for ten days, sleeping under the open sky in front of UNHCR office, demanding the office to resettle them in western Countries,or repatriate them to South Sudan.
The Egyptian security forces have surrounded them and prevented the media to cover the event. Both women with five months babies shared in these demonsterations. The UNHCR office refused to hear their plights. They are helpless and in need of help very urgently otherwise they are going to starve, leave alone the cold winter of the Middle-east. Sudanese Unity Government must interfere to help the situation its citzens are undergoing. Some had been here for eight to ten years and are refused refugee status by the UNHCR office and majority of them are those "known as close file". Those who are lucky, have been resettled enternally here in Egypt, but with no services provided to them by the Office, forcing many to work in Egyptian homes,both men women with low pay and high rent is demanded of them by the owners drive them stage this second demonstration. One was last year, in which the refugees were mercilessly attacked and beaten by the security forces. About fifteen were detained, tortured and eventually deported back to Sudan. Even the UNHCR office supports the deportation of Southern Sudanese refugees to Sudan were they face torture,miaming and death-mkaking the Office void of its mandate to protect refugees,but this is only applied to Southern Sudanese.
Most of the demonstrators have been chased out from the apartments they were renting for not paying the owners. Their problems are very very many and no one cares to hear them. The UNHCR office is only addressing the issues of refugees from Iraq, Palestine and Somalis. They are quickly granted Refugee Status and resettled within three months while Sudanese spent nineteen month to decide their status. Their processes are too lengthy. The Office Manager who is an Iraqi, refused completely to address the demonstrators. The foreign Minister of Egypt came to them himself and advised them not to be violent otherwise, each demonstrator must face ten security men. The media is completely barred. What shall we do here in Cairo? Many of the people are unable to return back to Sudan without guarantees for his/her safety. Maybe, after these demonstration, thEgyptian authorities will extradite us indescriminately and deliverately. We are appealing to international community and Human Rights organizations to interfere and help Sudanese refugees, specially Darfurians and in particular Southern Sudanese because they are the victims. They are labelled as separatese and against Islam. The UNHCR office, mainly run by Arabs tthemselves, cooperate with government to froze the processes for them or lengthy. We are called UNGAS, meaning Monkeys or SAMARA-Burned ones and many other abuses and humiliations.
The demonstration now is entering its second week without any solution in sight, whether from the UNHCR or the government. Our government, GOSS must say something on our behalf.