Alert: Sudan to start a nationwide alien’s registration and control campaign. Ethiopians asylum seekers who are denied Refugee IDs are very much disturbed!

By Debteraw’s associate reporter

Khartoum (Sudan) – A crack down on allegedly unlawful foreigners is to start within a week’s time. The nationwide preparation has been echoed both by the state owned and the private Sudanese mass Medias for about a month. According to the mass Medias the Ministry of interior has given directives how and when the crack down is to be commenced.

There is a close to hundred thousands of Ethiopian in the Sudan. The bulk of these migrate within the last four years in search of work. The majority of them are girls between the age of 12 and 25. Their passports are expired and in most cases they did not register upon their arrival. The most affected of such a campaign will be the help less refugees particularly Ethiopian. Ethiopian refugees have been neglected by both the UNHCR and COR since Woyane took power in 1991. It is estimated hundreds of Ethiopian refugees do not have valid refugee Identity cards. This is partly due to the politically motivated and donors driven application of the Cessation clause that stripped thousands of Ethiopians their refugee rights. Though the mistreatment and denial of refugee status of Ethiopian refugees by the UNHCR started all over the world soon after the TPLF took power the most glaring one started after the UNHCR implemented this infamous cession clause since March 2000. The Double standard of the UNHCR became more apparent again when it applied the same cessation clause On Eritrean refugees.

Ethiopian refugees with no valid IDs could roughly be classified under the following six categories:

·         Those who live in the Eastern Sudan cities such as port Sudan, Gedarif, Kesela, Meden and

·         In refugee camps such as Umgulga, UmraKuba

·         now reside in Khartoum and whose IDs were issued other than the Khartoum UNHCR office

·         either came to the Sudan when they were small kids with their parents or born in the Sudan and now are above the age of 18

·         fled from Ethiopia between 2000 – 2005 May, when UNHCR stopped issuing ID for Ethiopians

·         escaped to the Sudan after the June – November 2005 Massacre.

The above categories of Ethiopians will be affected by the upcoming aliens crack down unless COR and UNHCR could protect them. The double standard of the UNHCR Sudan office and COR can clearly be seen with two glaring Ethiopian refugee Cases. Case one is when UNHCR denies appeal for the pre 1991 screened Ethiopian while it granted more than one appeal chance for Eritreans who were on the same situation. Case two:- UNHCR and COR give automatic refugee status for new arrival of Eritrean refugees but for Ethiopians even those who fled after the June – November 2005 Woyane massacre of innocent and peaceful demonstrates are denied. The new arrivals have been begging for more than a year without success. Until this report is compiled the majority of CUD and UEDF members and supporters who applied for refugee status did not get ID. If they are not given in the next few days they are at risk of being dragged back as illegal aliens. It is also worth to mention here the Case of the four new arrival Ethiopians( Habtamu Zewdu of UEDF, Habtamu Wale and Mohamed Seid of ex EPPF, Tsege Mebratu who claimed as CUD member) reported deported On September 06 2006 due to UNHCRs and COR’s failure.

Therefore Ethiopian human rights and political organizations and concerned Ethiopian are advised to put pressure on the Sudanese Government representative, Commission for Refugees (COR) and the UNHCR to protect the refugees by at least issuing temporary IDs. It is also necessary to lobby the Sudanese government and concerned organizations to make the alien control process less painful i.e. to make sure the search is conducted only during day times. Those who conduct the search must carry out their duties properly after identifying themselves so that the process is not used for some sinister motives. Ethiopians should be treated humane.

It is worth to mention here that because of the UNHCR and the Sudanese government’s neglect many Ethiopian tried to cross to Europe illegally. In doing so many hundreds have perished in the Sahara Desert and Drowned in the Mediterranean Sea. Now many are contemplating the unthinkable unless the UNHCR and COR make a change of heart to protect.

Published in: on November 10, 2006 at 10:43 pm  Comments (3)