Magdi el-Gizouli und Abraham T Zere kommentieren die Übergriffe auf Somalische Regugees in Khartoum auf Al Jazeera, 28.12.19:
Politicians from the transitional government led by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok are spending their days giving broadcast interviews in which they indulge in political subtleties, pleasant anecdotes, fiery condemnations of the old regime and promises of a better future for Sudan. Meanwhile, however, police squads are working with the force and animosity of the old to clear the city of alleged „polluters and elopers“.
Since the first week of December, the police have been given license to round up the poorest and most vulnerable of Khartoum’s refugee and migrant residents. Eritrean, Ethiopian and Syrian refugees and migrants are now open game for a demoralised and ill-reputed police force eager to reclaim its diminished authority following a popular uprising it failed to prevent. They are arrested and then forced to bail themselves out of detention by paying hefty fines ranging from 50,000 to 100,000 Sudanese pounds ($1,100-2,200) in what can only be described as an extortion campaign.
Those who experience the most abuse are the ones who are at the very bottom of the pecking order: Eritreans who have nothing and are in constant search of work as day labourers and domestic workers.
The victimisation and abuse of migrants and refugees in Sudan is nothing new. It has happened in the past and was intensified after the EU concluded a migration agreement with al-Bashir. However, it is disappointing that it continues to happen today in revolutionary Sudan.
According to the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, there are more than 123,000 Eritrean refugees currently residing in Sudan, the majority of whom confined to remote camps in Kassala State along Sudan’s border with Eritrea. In Khartoum, most Eritreans are settled either in the neighbourhood of al-Deim, which was partially vacated after local skilled labourers left to seek employment in booming Gulf countries in the 1970s, or in the densely populated working-class areas such as al-Sahafa, Greif East and West and al-Kalakla.
With or without documentation, they are generally subject to recurrent waves of harassment and violence from the Sudanese authorities and are at considerable risk of human trafficking. Women and girls, meanwhile, face the added threat of sexual exploitation.
Short of options, many Eritreans in Sudan turn to smuggling networks in a desperate attempt to reach Europe and find safety there. Very few of them, however, actually make it into Europe. At the height of the migration push towards Europe in 2015 about 40,000 Eritreans managed to reach the shores of Greece, Italy and Spain. The UN estimates that approximately 400,000 Eritreans have fled the country in recent years at a rate of 4,000 a month – almost 9 percent of the country’s total population.
With the 2014 „Khartoum Process“, the EU outsourced the task of „managing“ migrants seeking to reach Europe through the horn of Africa migration route to regional state and non-state actors in exchange for financial support. Al-Bashir’s regime was eager, if not thrilled to provide its services to help the EU externalise its border well into Khartoum’s al-Deim and al-Kalakla neighbourhoods.
The continuing campaign of harassment and abuse against refugees and migrants in greater Khartoum should be viewed within this greater context of militias and security forces wanting to continue their lucrative collaboration with western nations to stamp out Europe-bound migration. But, sadly, militias are not the only ones keen on Sudan’s brutal and inhumane fight against irregular migration to continue. The new rulers of Sudan also seem happy to use and abuse migrants and refugees in the country for their own benefit.