Shegerab Refugee Camp update: Refugees’ Representatives still in police custody 

Although the Camp is quite and calm these days, the refugee representatives who were arrested during the clash with camp security are still in police custody. The arrest took place on 4th of March 2020 and the use of excessive force on desperate refugees happened in front of the UNHCR officers, whom the international community entrusted to protect them. UNHCR kept quite while its officers are the witnesses of the unacceptable use of the live ammunition, teargas and arrest of innocent refugees. It is expected of UNHCR to protect refugees. But the two refugee representatives are incarcerated. For a long time it’s become crystal clear refuges are living under abject conditions and miserable situation. The question is why these two refugees are kept in police detention for days now for seeking help from UNHCR.

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These refugees crossed a long journey and perilous route to arrive to the camp seeking safety. However, the lives of the refugees is under a treat. It is expected of the international community to heed their demands and address their challenges.

UNHCR, COR (commission of refugees in Sudan) and other concerned bodies ought to intervene and ensure the immediate release of the two arrested refugees, listen and address the refugees’ demands, and improve the living conditions in the camp. Besides, as the camp management has completely failed to provide services and security to refugees, it is timely to completely overhaul the administration and place an effective and respectful management team which will safeguard the humanitarian principles. Otherwise in its current state the Camp is no less than a prison..

 

Eritrean Refugees in Shagarab Camp in dire condition

Visitors, believed to be UNHCR staff, came to Shagarab camp on 4 March 2020 and had meetings in the camp. When leaving the camp, a large group of desperate refugees rushed to talk and discuss their plights with them. But they were blocked by the security personnel of the camp. The refugees resisted the blockage and pushed towards the visitors. Finally, two representatives were selected to speak with the visitors, who, unfortunately, were later taken by the security to unknown place. The rest were chased by tear gases and live bullets. Refugees are in terror running away and hiding in the camp.

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According to reliable sources  refugees are facing numerous obstacles to get their refugee status document. Widespread bribes and corruptions, negligence, and harassment, including sexual harassment are daily practices of the camp. Security personnel pay unwarranted visits to women’s barakas and pretend to help them facilitate their files to get done faster. Many of the refugees say there is nothing that can be done without giving them bribes. Whoever has no money, his/her file remains unprocessed.

The working hours and conditions of the camp are unbelievable.  They work less than 10 hours a week, reception is terrible and no respect, and processes only 10 files per day – 7 times less that before. Blocking refugees from talking with visitors is also common. Overall refugees are frustrated of the delays of the identification process, hunger, shelter, water, and other basic necessities. These challenges made them to demand for justice, and wanted to talk to whoever can be of help, like to the visitors from UNHCR.

 

At this very moment, refugees  are more concerned and  worried about the two arrested who are taken to unknown location. They believe that it is the responsibility of  COR and UNHCR to make sure that their safety and security is not compromised. They are demanding their safe return to the camp. International community has a duty and responsibility to follow the developments in the Shagarab camp and help these desperate and helpless refugees. They are crying out for your help; what would you say if your own sons and daughters fell in a such situation. Act responsibly and humanly.

Unusual roundup of Eritrean refugees

A serious and very unusual roundup of Eritrean refugees is underway in Khartoum this week. Security forces are targeting refugees and their establishments, in particular, refugees from Eritrea. Hungry security squads are hunting the helpless refugees from wherever they are: streets, workplaces, and even from their homes. Whoever caught by the security is asked to pay 50,000 or more to be released. Very unfortunately, Eritrean refugees are terrorized and in hiding to save their lives, including who have legal documents from the government and who are recognized by UNHCR.

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This unprecedented and well organized move against Eritrean refugees has no one anticipated. And no one has a clue about the motive behind it. It may have any link with the recent visits to Asmara by the Sudanese authorities. If that is the case, these refugees are in real or in an imminent danger that requires an immediate attention from the international community. The security officers are asking their nationality before they put them on trucks. It’s very worrisome situation for refugees who have no protection from the host country or from their own representative in the country. United Nations and other humanitarian organizations, including UNHCR have the obligation to intervene and save innocent lives. The situation is very alarming and heartbreaking that needs an urgent attention from whoever is engaged in humanitarian works.

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I want to stress that this information is a real that is happening now and continues to happen on innocent people who have no crime or misconduct, their only crime being that they are refugees who fled repression and asked protection in other country. As humans, they don’t deserve protection? They do, in fact, international community shouldn’t wait a second to act; it’s a matter of urgency. Have a look on the pictures below; refugees are under attack, horror, and terror from security and gangs.

Shegerab Camp – Inhuman handling of refugees

Last week Africa Monitors’ member visited to Shegarab refugee camp to check for the status of Eritrean refugees who lived in the camp. But suddenly the refugees make demonstrate against the UNHCR officers for their injustice services. Here follows his account of the event.

Nov 18, 2019 at 9:00 am Sudan time, frustrated refuges demonstrated in front of the COR office in the Shagarab Camp. They prepared a letter and went to the Camp Manager, Abdein. The paper demanded, among other things, to increase the number of people to be seen daily (for interview), the interviewed ones to be given a photo slip that proves refugee status, and the letter asked who is responsible for the delays; UNHCR or COR? Unfortunately, the Manager of the Camp refused to accept the letter and threw the letter to the ground. He further asked their immediate return to their places, if not they will be incarcerated. Abdein showed no respect to the refugees at all. The reports tell that the UNHCR Representative in the Camp, Musa Ahmed, just watched the threats and abuses on refugees, did say nothing.

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Refugees in Shegerab demonistration – Africa Monitors

Refugees demonistrate agains Unhcr officers in shegerab refugee camp (1)

When the refugees resisted to return demanding that their plea be heard, Abdein called police from Girba and Wedel Hilew. Shortly, four armored vehicles with full army personnel arrived at the scene and threatened the refugees to leave. Meanwhile, Abdein asked for five representatives if he has to look at their letter to respond. Five refugee representatives were selected and allowed to enter to the office, but he, instead of listening to their demands, let them go with warning and threatening them if they happen to demonstrate again. Afterwards, the refugees were chased to return to their places. No one was hurt from the demonstration though encountered by inhuman response from the Camp management.

It’s truly heartbreaking situation where a refugee has no value, no respect, and no attention from the so called humanitarian agencies and institutions. Where is the humanity and where are the principles of Geneva conventions. Refugees are pouring to the camp, and currently there are approximately 5000 refugees in the Camp, far beyond its capacity. I am asking for whoever is concerned with refugee affairs to render their hand to save lives. We are lucky today no one is hurt, but desperate refuges are looking for a way out from this crisis.

High tension in Port Sudan

High tension due to a conflict between two of the social components of the city that left one dead and dozens of injuries. The Sovereign Council decided urgently to send a delegation to Port Sudan to monitor the security tensions in the city, council member Lt. Gen. Shamsuddin Kabbashi said.

The delegation includes a member of the Sovereignty Council, legal adviser Hassan Sheikh Idris, in addition to the Chief of Staff of the Ground Forces, the Deputy Director of the Intelligence Service and the Director of Police.

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According to eyewitnesses to the (Sudan Tribune), army forces deployed in all the intersections of Port Sudan, specifically in the neighborhood of Riyadh, which is inhabited by the tribe (Bani Amer) and the Filip neighborhood inhabited by the tribe (Nuba) and fled between the two parties amid high tension.

The events of Port Sudan are an extension of other events that occurred in earlier times in a number of cities in the east, including Gedaref, Khasham Al-Qirba and Kassala, between the same groups (Nuba and Bani Amer).

The Central Doctors Committee of Sudan announced the death of one person and the injury of about (49) people during the events in Naeem neighborhood in Port Sudan last Wednesday evening. The committee called on doctors to go to the hospitals that received the injuries to help the wounded. The MSC held the security authorities and the state government fully responsible for maintaining the security and safety of the state’s citizens.

The Committee called on the competent authorities to take all serious security measures and precautions to prevent the recurrence of such events. Witnesses from the city told (Sudan Tribune) that the conflict between the two groups continued to renew without any obvious reasons, there is no common territory between them can be a cause as usual tribal conflicts in Sudan.

Witnesses accused unnamed parties of being behind the fueling of the conflict between the two groups to undermine the social fabric and peaceful coexistence among the people of the city.

Witnesses confirmed that the events of Dar Al-Naim neighborhood in Port Sudan are in violation of the document of agreement and peaceful coexistence signed by the two groups earlier.

The Sudan Central Doctors Committee said that Port Sudan Hospital received (4) bullets injuries, besides (25) other injuries of varying severity, while Prince Osman Hospital received two bullets lying in intensive care.

The statement confirmed that the Port Authority Hospital received (8) gunshot wounds, besides (19) injuries varying, including three injuries to the regular forces, adding: (There is a death as a result of gunshot wounds).

The gathering of Sudanese professionals said in a statement that it monitored the attempts of what he described as trainees to fuel the tribal conflict among the citizens in the city, stressing that the first priorities of the transitional authority to provide safety and protection and bloodshed.

He demanded the mayors, youth, tribal elders and their wise leaders to lead serious initiatives to resort to the voice of reason and to stay away from the bloody conflict and continue the (imitated) agreed, because it is the path that achieves justice to the rule of law, through which anyone who commits an offense and the rights of its people are held accountable.

source: https://www.alnilin.com/13072374.htm (Arabic)