Eritrean refugees in Egypt staged a mass demonstration in front of the UNHCR office in Cairo on Sunday morning May 6, 2018.
Around 1,700 refugees including men, women, young men and children held a massive and peaceful demonstration in front the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the 6th October city and chanted slogans calling for refugees’ rights, protection and called the UNHCR office to draw attention to the difficulties and challenges faced by Eritrean refugees in Egypt. The protesters also called for the right to education, healthcare and assistance for refugees.
They also complained about the continued slowdown in UNHCR’s procedures and the very poor UNHCR services provided to refugees, which have recently deteriorated at an unprecedented rate.
Members of the Eritrean Refugee Committee met with the Deputy Commissioner-General of the UNHCR in Egypt and with other UNHCR officials. They explained to the UNHCR officials the problems and challenges faced by Eritrean refugees in Egypt, mainly issues of protection, Refugee Status Determination, Resettlement, financial assistance and social services (education, health care and employment).
The members of the Eritrean refugees have called on the UNHCR officials during the meeting to address the huge difficulties and challenges countered by Eritrean refugees and urged for solutions as much as possible, because Eritrean refugees’ problems in Egypt are becoming worse with time.
On her part, the deputy UNHCR high commissioner expressed her appreciation of the peaceful and orderly organized demonstration of Eritrean refugees and answered to some of refugee complaints and promised to respond to the rest demands on the 21st of May, 2018.
After the demonstration, no appointment has been rescheduled for any Eritrean refugees in the UNHCR office so far, unlike to what has been happening in the last months, when many Eritrean refugees’ appointments have been rescheduled, after waiting so long time for registration and Refugees Status Determination (RSD). This can be seen as the positive outcome the demonstration and meeting with the UHCR officials.