Egypt illegally returns Sudanese refugees across the border

Sudanese refugee in Egypt

Noos Newsan average

Egypt is returning people who fled from neighboring Sudan across the border on a large scale. This is what Amnesty International writes in a new report. The human rights organization says this is against international law.

Thousands of Sudanese are said to have been arbitrarily arrested and deported. According to the human rights organisation, this means they have no chance to apply for asylum and no chance to get a fair trial. According to Marjon Rozema of Amnesty International, the police are keeping people off the streets, especially in the capital, Cairo, and in the Aswan border area.

“They randomly pick up black people, people walking in the streets. These could also be people who have lived in the country longer or people who have valid refugee status. They are also people in the hospital where they are recovering from wounds they sustained in the civil war.” .

Millions of Sudanese

A bloody battle has been raging in Sudan for more than a year. As a result, more than 9 million people fled. About half a million of them moved to neighboring Egypt, where millions of citizens who previously left Sudan also live.

Trouw correspondent Joost Schiffers recognizes the picture drawn by Amnesty International. “I heard from many aid organizations that Sudanese are already being arrested and sent across the border.”

“I have spoken to refugees here who are only in their homes because they do not dare to go out. They do not want to risk arrest and deportation.”

Amnesty International’s Rozema: “This is also accompanied by an increase in racist and xenophobic statements. In the media and online, but also by the government, which blames all foreigners for the country’s economic problems.”


Amnesty International says the people being deported are now being held in inhumane conditions. The report describes how detained refugees, including women and children, are held in temporary centers such as warehouses or stables. Health facilities are inadequate and there are no medical facilities.

Rozema wants the European Union to confront the Egyptian government regarding these practices. The European Union signed an agreement with Egypt in March: in exchange for receiving billions in loans and grants, that country must try to limit the flow of migration to Europe.

She believes that “the European Union has a key role to play.” “You really shouldn’t work with a country where you know things like this happen.”

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