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Israel to Deport Sudanese Refugees

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    Israel considering deportation of Sudanese refugees to Kenya By Shahar Ilan http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/875197.html Israel is considering sending
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 28, 2007
      Israel considering deportation of Sudanese refugees to Kenya
      By Shahar Ilan

      Israel is considering sending African refugees to Kenya and is engaged
      in diplomatic talks on the issue. It has also resumed jailing Sudanese
      refugees who seep into the country along the Egyptian border.

      However, several people dealing with the refugees doubt that Kenya is
      interested in accepting them. They said Monday that the plan was
      probably Israel's alone. The UN is also expected to object.

      The UN returns the refugees to south Sudan via Kenya.

      Israel is refraining from returning to Egypt the refugees who made it
      across the border because Egypt sends them to Sudan, where they are
      expected to be executed for seeking asylum in Israel.

      Michael Bavli, the representative of the United Nations High
      Commissioner for Refugees in Jerusalem, said he was not aware of
      negotiations between Israel and Kenya.

      "I assume the UN will not agree to taking refugees against their will
      back to Africa," he said.

      The chairman of the Knesset Interior Committee, Ophir Pines-Paz, said
      he objects to returning the refugees to Africa. Pines said Israel must
      take in a significant number of refugees and reach an agreement with
      other countries to take the rest.

      Attorney Anat Ben Dor of Tel Aviv University's clinic for refugee
      rights said transferring the refugees to a country where they could be
      imprisoned in a refugee camp would be illegal. The IDF on Monday
      jailed 12 Sudanese men. Their women and children were left to manage
      on their own.

      The jailing policy, which was carried out until April this year,
      caused humanitarian problems because the women and children found it
      difficult to fend for themselves in a foreign country while the heads
      of their families were in prison.

      Due to prison overcrowding and the objection of civil rights groups,
      the Israel Defense Forces put an end to the jailing policy until its
      current resumption.

      In recent weeks the IDF would arrest the refugees but leave them
      outside police stations because the army is not allowed to hold
      refugees for more than 24 hours. Non-profit organizations would take
      the refugees off the street, treat them, and help them to find jobs.

      Meanwhile, the ministers' committee to solve the refugee problem has
      completed its findings. These include blocking the southern border by
      increased military activity and building a fence along the border.

      Interior Minister Roni Bar-On on Monday presented Prime Minister Ehud
      Olmert with the committee's recommendations, and a debate with all
      those involved with the refugee issue is due to be held next week.



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