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After Deportation From Israel, Many African Migrants Suffering in South Sudan

israel african deportationTereza Maoun, a 38-year-old mother of six, fled her home in Juba, South Sudan last week when clashes broke out at a nearby military post. When she returned the next morning, she discovered that her house had been ransacked, and all her family’s belongings were gone.

“We found that everything is broken. They didn’t leave for us anything,” said Maoun, who is now staying with friends in another part of the South Sudanese capital. “Even clothes – they took everything from me.”

Maoun had been back in South Sudan for about a year before violence broke out Dec. 15 between government soldiers and rebel factions in the north. “When we came to Juba, we didn’t know about Juba. Even we didn’t know about South Sudan,” said Maoun, who first left her home country in 2003.

She had lived in Egypt before making a dangerous journey through the Sinai desert in 2007 to reach Israel. But in December 2012, Israel deported her and her family to South Sudan.

Maoun was among several hundred South Sudanese refugees deported from Israel after South Sudan became independent in July 2011. The country’s secession from Sudan, Israel argued, meant refugees could safely return home.

In June 2012, they were rounded up, put onto buses and expelled. “You’re not responsible for the future. Those who have been repatriated are people that have agreed to it, and their home country has agreed and cooperated,” said Paul Hirschson, deputy spokesman for the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs.

Numbering about 700 before the deportations began, South Sudanese asylum seekers represent a tiny fraction of the nearly 60,000 African migrants in Israel, most of whom are from Sudan and Eritrea.

“Every single one of the illegal migrants is entitled to apply for refugee status determination … They will be checked and evaluated to see whether they are entitled under international law to refugee status and if they are, they will be granted refugee status,” Hirschson said.

But since its creation in 1948, Israel has recognized fewer than 200 people as refugees, and only 9 percent of all asylum seekers in the country are even eligible to apply for refugee status determination (RSD).

Rather than process such claims, Israel applies temporary group protection to most asylum seekers, a status it also refers to as “deferred deportation.” This designation protects people from repatriation, but doesn’t provide them with any social rights in Israel. It initially applied to South Sudanese asylum seekers, but the government lifted the group protection just before the deportations.

“I came out with nothing: no education, no money,” said Franco Kombe, who was deported from Israel in June 2012 after having lived there with his family for four years. “Many families that came … from Israel are suffering,” Kombe told Al Jazeera this week, explaining he hasn’t held a stable job since he returned to Juba a year ago.

Read the full story at aljazeera.com

What people are saying

8 thoughts on “After Deportation From Israel, Many African Migrants Suffering in South Sudan

  1. Gregory Levi says:

    Israel is a hypocrite country. Always so quick to talk about what the Nazis did to jews yet their treatment of blacks from the Sudan is sad. It appears they offer only the bare minimum when they grant asylum. This Deferred Deportation they offer seems to be their way of giving repatriation but without social rights it also makes it easy for Isreal to put them out the country when they're ready without the refugees being able to try and stay. Israel rounded up those black folks from the Sudan like cattle threw them on buses and sent them to the Sudan just like that. Since Israel doesn't provide social rights theres no appeal process im aware of that could have been used. So basically they used as an excuse a fratured weak independence to send the people back to a place they haven't been back to in some years with no help to help them intergrate back into Sudanese society. I wonder if Israel even gave them bus fare to catch a bus when they dumped them off. This from a country that I heard likes to shame Germany about the Holocaust when they want something from them

  2. Kevin Brown says:

    We should bring some of those Israeli officials here and make them immigration judges in the United States.

  3. Collin A. Douglas says:

    The world needs to pay attention to what Israel is getting away with. These are generations of people..from the original Israeli ancestry line (Falashas) that they treat like second class citizens, shame on Israel!!

  4. Victoria Ann Sawanas says:

    There is a way to apply for citizenship in any country. We in Canada also have migrants show up by the hundreds. They are warehoused until the legitimacy of their claim can be proved. In the meantime, tax payers are responsible for the expense of these people. They have no rights because they are not Canadian citizens. If their claim is not legitimate or have criminal records, they are sent back to their home country.
    Rather than blaming Israel and Italy for their treatment of refugees or migrants, why not work on the issues of why they are leaving in droves.

  5. Shari Peterson says:

    I guess Europe should have been a bit more strict in letting Jews into their countries during WWII huh?

  6. Shari Peterson says:

    I guess Europe should have been a bit more strict in letting Jews into their countries during WWII huh?

  7. Shari Peterson says:

    Oh racism is only unacceptable everywhere else and the Jewish media makes sure it never dies…but in Israel it's A-OK! Whether it's sterilizing Ethiopian black Jews or kicking out African refugees.

    Now I see why Israel so warmly allowed all the black Jews in to Israel: SO THEY COULD STERILIZE THEM.

  8. AFTER THEY TOOK IT FROM THE PALESTINIANS

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