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UNHCR Sudan suspends resettlement programme over alleged corruption

Ethiopian refugees take part in a small demonstration in front of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR)'s offices in Khartoum during a visit by UNHCR's official Antonio Guterres 26 April 2007. (Photo GettyImages AFP)
May 17, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - UN refugee agency, UNHCR, Thursday announced a temporary suspension of its refugee resettlement programme from Sudan following reports about alleged corruption in UN resettlement process.

The suspension comes as the UNHCR independent Inspector General’s Office has launched an investigation into claims about corrupt practices by some staff members of HCR Sudan demand money to advance the resettlement applications of the refugees from Ethiopia, Eritrea and South Sudan.

"At present, we are still dealing with allegations, based on reports that have come from refugees. Nonetheless, these are worrying and the integrity of the Sudan resettlement programme has to be assured beyond any doubt," said UNHCR Representative for Sudan Noriko Yoshida.

"Should wrongdoing be confirmed, those responsible can expect the consequences to be severe," he added.

The resettlement programme is seen as a solution for refugees who have no possibility of either voluntary return or local integration. The refugees are generally resettled in Europe, Australia, Canada and the United States.

The UNHCR Sudan, in its statement, called anyone who has information about fraud or corruption to contact "without delay" the Inspector General’s Office.

(ST)