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US News Israel: with normalization, fear of Sudanese "infiltrators" of a forced return

12:55  28 october  2020
12:55  28 october  2020 Source:   pressfrom.com

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Israel - Sudan normalization of ties gives Trump election boost: Analyst. Sudanese Ba'ath Party, the Sudanese Communist Party, National Consensus Forces (NCF) – a coalition of “ Normalization with Israel is an unacceptable step… The government is not authorized to take such a measure with a

The United States is pressing Sudan to establish diplomatic relations with Israel in return for removal of the Northeast African country from a US list of Three Sudanese government officials familiar with the matter, however, told Reuters news agency on Thursday that Khartoum is resisting the linkage of

Des demandeurs d'asile soudanais à Tel-Aviv (Israël), le 25 octobre 2020 © MENAHEM KAHANA Sudanese asylum seekers in Tel Aviv (Israel), October 25, 2020

With the announcement of normalization of relations between Khartoum and Israel, they could serve as a link between the two nations. But thousands of Sudanese asylum seekers fear being deported by the Jewish state to their country, especially Darfur, where war still threatens.

Usumain Baraka, demandeur d'asile soudanais en Israël, à Tel-Aviv le 25 octobre 2020 © MENAHEM KAHANA Usumain Baraka, Sudanese asylum seeker in Israel, in Tel Aviv on October 25, 2020

After the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, Sudan is the third Arab country since August to announce such an agreement. If the first two do not have a diaspora in Israel, it is different for Sudan.

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The United States is pressing Sudan to establish diplomatic relations with Israel in return for removal of the Northeast African country from a US list of Three Sudanese government officials familiar with the matter, however, told Reuters news agency on Thursday that Khartoum is resisting the linkage of

Israel deported South Sudanese back to South Sudan , where many lost their lives,” he says. Haroon describes as “complicated” the feelings of Sudanese nationals toward possible ties between Israel and Sudan . “I was one of the student activists calling for normalization between Israel and

Adam, Soudanais demandeur d'asile en Israël, craint l'expulsion après la normalisation des relations © MENAHEM KAHANA Adam, Sudanese asylum seeker in Israel, fears deportation after relations normalize

The Hebrew state is now home to 6,000 Sudanese (after a peak of 12,000), called "infiltrators" by the authorities because they entered the country illegally before obtaining a status allowing them to stay and, for some, to work, without however obtaining citizenship.

These Sudanese speak fluent Arabic and Hebrew, enough to hope for a rapprochement between these two countries that everything has been opposed for seven decades.

But since the announcement of the agreement, "people are really afraid that the government will send us back to Sudan," said Barik Saleh, a Sudanese asylum seeker in his twenties.

"With normalization (...) the first thing that comes to the mind of the government is: we will be able to send back the infiltrators," says Jean-Marc Liling, an Israeli lawyer specializing in asylum issues.

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As part of the normalization deal between them, Israel and Sudan are expected to discuss the fate The report noted that according to international law, Israel can not force an asylum seeker to return However, it is very early days to be talking about the return of Sudanese refugees, especially to very

Parties opposing normalization included the country’s largest party, National Umma Party; the Sudanese Baath Party “This statement contradicts the Sudanese national law… and contributes to the elimination of the peace project in the Middle East and to preparing for the ignition of a new war

After the independence of South Sudan in 2011, the Israeli authorities tracked down the "infiltrators" from this territory - which quickly plunged back into civil war - to send them back.

In Tel Aviv, in the district of Neve Shaanan, where asylum seekers crumble the days between shops and restaurants, some of which offer bean dishes rivaling the best bouis-bouis in Khartoum, a Hebrew expression describes the agreement standardization: "kakha-kakha!". "Couci-couça".

- "100% in danger" -

It is the paradox of this agreement for Sudanese asylum seekers, some of whom arrived in Israel as teenagers. On the one hand, they wanted the normalization of Sudan-Israel relations but, on the other hand, many fear paying the price.

"I am the first to want this normalization but if I am deported, I will be 100% in danger", summarizes Barik, who lived until nine years in the province of West Darfur.

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The Prevention of Infiltration Law is an Israeli law enacted in 1954, which deals with unauthorised entry of people into Israel , which it terms infiltration. The law defines offenses of armed and non-armed unauthorised entry to Israel .

'Illegal infiltrators '. Eritreans and Sudanese began arriving in Israel through Egypt's Sinai Peninsula "Destroying people's hope of finding protection by forcing them into a corner and then claiming they "Eritreans and Sudanese in Israel are left with the choice of living in fear of spending the rest of their

In 2003, at the start of the civil war in Darfur, he fled with his family to neighboring Chad. As a teenager, he left for Libya but rather than attempting to cross the Mediterranean, he branched off towards Egypt and then Israel.

"If I go home, it will be to find my family. But my family (still) lives in a refugee camp", he confides.

Ditto for Usumain, Monim, Sadig, Adam and others who fled these camps in their teens in Darfur or neighboring Chad.

"The reason why we are here is not because of the absence of diplomatic relations (...) but because of the genocide and the ethnic cleansing where we come from", sighs Monim Haroon, from Jebel Marra, in the heart of Darfur, a stronghold of rebel Abdelwahid Nour.

- Fight or go -

Omar al-Bashir, in power for three decades (1989-2019), remains wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and genocide in Darfur, where the conflict has left more than 300,000 dead, mainly in the early years according to the UN.

After the fall of the one who accused Israel of supporting Darfuri rebels, the transitional government signed peace with rebels except the Sudan Liberation Army of Abdelwahid Nour (SLA-AW).

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Sudan 's inclusion on the list has made it difficult for the transitional government to access urgently needed debt relief. The country's surging inflation and plummeting currency have been Hamdok's biggest challenges since he took over last year. Hamdok said the current transitional government in

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Monim Haroon was its representative in Israel. "I myself have called for normalization with Israel when it was forbidden by Sudan. But, unless Abdelwahid signs a peace agreement, I cannot return to Sudan," he explains.

All the more so as leaders of the transitional government themselves participated in the conflict, including Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who headed a powerful pro-government militia.

The militias "killed my father, they killed my older brother, then they took everything we had in the village", underlines Usumain Baraka, also left Darfur at the age of nine for Chad, where his mother still lives. in a refugee camp.

"At one point, I had two options: either to return to Darfur to fight in a rebel group, or to leave the camp to try to have a normal life," he says.

- Khartoum / Tel Aviv Bridge -

Remain asylum seekers in Israel or return to a camp in Sudan? Darfuris therefore fear losing out with normalization.

“We have no place to go,” insists Usumain, fitted pants, branded shirt, gold watch and master's degree in public administration in his pocket, giving him more of a young premier than a maquisard.

Some of these young Sudanese would like to be considered as "an asset" by Israel, which will soon talk about immigration with Khartoum.

"We could be a bridge between the two countries", in trade but also to help these two peoples understand each other, Monim thinks.

"Israel is my second home, there is no language that I speak better than Hebrew, even my mother tongue, the Four", adds Barik, who dreams of the day when he will be able to return to the country. "But not right now".

gl / gk / elm

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