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Majority of Sudanese tagged for deportation arrive home

By Khetam Malkawi - Dec 19,2015 - Last updated at Dec 19,2015

AMMAN — Efforts of international agencies and Sudanese refugees who resisted deportation did not work out, as Jordanian authorities on Friday morning and Saturday deported 585 of the 800 Sudanese nationals seeking international help.

Reports said they already arrived home.

The deportees and those on the waiting list had protested for a month in front of the UNHCR calling on the agency to expedite the processing of their applications.

Ali Qandil, who is registered as an “asylum seeker” with the UN agency, told The Jordan Times that he did not want to return home as all his dreams of starting a new life in one of the Western countries would be shattered.

Human Rights Watch said in a statement last week that these people are in danger back home.

Qandil and his fellow citizens resisted deportation until last minute.

But for the government, the 800 Sudanese did not meet the criteria of refugees, noting that they had entered Jordan under the pretext of seeking medical treatment, then “they started demanding to be recognised as refugees”.

Mohammad Hawari, a senior mass information and communication associate at UNHCR, told The Jordan Times that the agency has requested Jordanian authorities to “provide us with list of names for those who have been deported”.

He explained that some of those who were deported are covered by the international protection as refugees or asylum seekers, and “they remain under this protection”.

Asked if the agency will follow up on cases of those registered as refugees or asylum seekers even after deportation, the UNHCR official said this is the first time that such an incident has happened, and the issue would further be examined.

Meanwhile, Hawari expressed the agency’s concern about those who were deported and registered as refugees as they might be in danger once they are deported.

Meanwhile, in Geneva, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said the world community had a "huge debt" to Jordan but also made reference to the incident involving the Sudanese, The Associated Press reported on Friday.

"We have been in close contact with the Jordanian government on the Sudanese question," said Guterres, adding that UNHCR's position was that the Sudanese are in need of protection should not be deported.

According to AP, Guterres expressed concern about growing wariness worldwide about refugees and noted a “trend towards a more restrictive approach to refugee policies”. He cited contributing factors such as public reaction to the large number of refugees pouring into Europe and concerns about security in the wake of terror attacks in Paris and elsewhere recently.

 

“We need to understand that refugees are the first victims of terror, and they are refugees exactly because they are fleeing areas where terrorism, violence and other forms of persecution have been proliferating more strongly,” he said.

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