December 13, 2019
UNHCR Khartoum Office, the Sudan
Sudan Commission for Refugees (COR)
Higher Council for Community Development
It is to be recalled that on 30 October 2019, a symposium was organized in Khartoum attended by representatives of the Sudanese Ministry of Labor as well as one representative from each of the caseloads of refugees in the Sudan from Eritrea, S. Sudan, Ethiopia, the Congo, Yemen and Syria.
At the said symposium, the Sudanese authorities and the local UNHCR Office have reached the agreement that refugees in the Sudan can be allowed training and work opportunities like Sudanese citizens, except in security and military spheres. Sadly, this accord was not formally conveyed to the concerned refugees in a manner that they can understand nor did the concerned authorities initiate the pledged training opportunities. Instead, refugees are this month being rounded up from their homes, workplaces and from the streets and taken to prison. Their incarcerators claim that the refugees, including those who held residence permits as of 2000 from the Immigration Ministry, have no work permits. To add insult to injury, the Sudanese “law enforcers” are asking the detained refugees to buy their freedom by paying between 50,000 and 100,000 Sudanese pounds.
We the undersigned Eritrean political and civic forces demand the most immediate action on the following:
- The Sudanese authorities to stop the unjust action taken and being taken against Eritrean and other refugees in the host country;
- To let the refugees taken from workplaces to safely return to their jobs;
- To release without pre-conditions all detained refugees and respect the right of those refugees already holding residence permits to stay in the Sudan as refugees;
- To provide training courses to refugees as pledged, and to pay back the money taken from refugees who were asked to pay up to 100,000 pounds for their release from prison.
Likewise, we urge the UNHCR to follow up the implementation of the agreement reached with the Sudanese authorities and the COR at the symposium of 30 October 2019 and protect the rights of victimized Eritrean refugees.
No one can ignore or forget the historic warm welcome and support of the Sudanese people to Eritrean refugees, and we still call with strong hope the Sudanese Government to pursue fraternal relations that can strengthen existing bonds between our peoples. There is no doubt that Eritreans still take the Sudan as their second home.
- Eritrean National Council for Democratic Change (ENCDC);
- Eritrean People’s Democratic Party (EPDP);
- United Eritreans for Justice (UEJ)
- Unity for Democratic change (UDC)
- Eritrean National Front (ENF)