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Sudanese refugees protest against UNHCR in Ghana

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Darfur refugees protest outside UNHCR office in Accra on 27 November 2018 (ST Photo)
December 7, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - A group of Sudanese refugees have organized a sit-in in front of the UN Higher Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) headquarters in the Ghanaian capital, Accra to protest against the latter’s refusal to issue their refugee documents.

One of the protesters, Hib al-Din Mohamed said 764 Sudanese refugees including women and children have arrived in Ghana 6 years ago, pointing out that UNHCR refused to issue them refugee identification cards.

“I arrived in Ghana in 2014 after crossing six countries. However, the UNHCR refused to issue me a refugee ID which made me suffer from housing, food and health care problems” he said

He added the Sudanese refugees are facing great suffering, saying some of them have taken refuge at a nearby mosque.

Another refugee, Mohamed Salah, told Sudan Tribune that last week they decided to organize a sit-in in front of the UNHCR premises and submit a memo including their demands, pointing out that the refugees came from the war-affected areas in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

He said the first batch of Sudanese refugees had arrived in Ghana in 2004, pointing out that they were granted the right for resettlement in the U.S. and Canada.

Salah added the resettlement programme has stopped since 2009, saying the UN doesn’t currently provide them with any kind of assistance.

Salah also said the UN has rejected the cases of 25 Sudanese refugees six months ago.

“However, when we met with the UNHCR officials, they denied that they turned down the application even though we had shown them the denial letters,” he said

He accused the UNHCR of discriminating against the Sudanese refugees, saying it has granted refugee status to 300 Syrians who arrived from Egypt and other refugee holding Sudanese passports.

Salah added the Syrian refugees were granted refugee status within 6 months and large numbers of them have been resettled in Canada, U.S. and Europe.

“I don’t know what is the difference between us and the Syrians and why they differentiate between the refugees in this inhumane manner,” he said

He added that a Sudanese refugee had died since several months due to lack of health care, saying there are large numbers of sick people who don’t have money to get medical treatment.

He added the Ghanian authorities treat the Sudanese refugees better than the UNHCR, saying the sit-in has been carried out peacefully.

(ST)

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