At 2:00 a.m. this morning December 30, 2005 Cairo local time, the Egyptian riot police lounged an offensive on Sudanese refugees who have been on a strike almost three months now in the famous Mustafa Mahmoud Square which is located near the UNHCR office in Cairo. It was reported that the police is using brutal means to force the refugees out of the square which is also located near the Arab league head-quarters where Amro Mousa, the head of Arab league, always spend his time.
The refugee crisis started three months ago when a group of Sudanese refugees gathered in that famous square in an attempt to make their voice heard by UN officials as well as the international community, but UN officials are reluctant to take any action; as a result, the international community turned a blind eye on those refugees too.
Six refugees are reported to have died in that strike due to the inhuman conditions which they were faced with in that square; for instance, some of those refugees used to urinate [pee] and do other things on the ground, the very ground they used as a sleeping place.
Some Sudanese leaders did what could be named as local consumption propaganda by visiting the refugees in that square; in fact, Sadiq al Mahdi visited the square together with the American Ambassador in Cairo and some other ambassadors in Cairo. Also, father Phillip Abbass Gabush did visit the refugees too. But nothing came out of all those shuttle visits. The Egyptian Foreign Minister stated earlier this week that the Egyptian authorities will close the UNHCR Cairo office and move it somewhere outside Cairo.
Meanwhile the GONU and GOSS have been silent on this issue regardless of their tireless calls concerning refugees’ repatriation. Kiir Mayardit visited Kakuma refugee camp lately giving hopes for refugee who saw Kiir’s move as a good start from their leader, but will that much attention be paid to Cairo refugees? That is yet to be tested.
Nevertheless, I hope that anyone who has contacts with the GoSS, the western governments and NGOs, the UN, or whoever person or organization that may help would not hesitate to let him/her move towards rescuing those poor refugees from the Egyptian police brutality.
Also, if anyone has links with the media, let him/her not hesitate to let them know and thus, spread the news of this misery.