Tuesday, 12 March 2019
Sudanese refugees in Agadez / Niger

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Besides people blocked in transit in Niger or pushed back from Algeria, there is a rising number of refugees in Agadez/Niger who have applied for asylum in Niger republic and who are living in camps run by UNHCR or by NGOs collaborating with UNHCR. Most of them are Sudanese from Darfur region.

They are worried because during one year and 3 months that many of them have spent heretheir asylum applications have not advanced. They just have a "case number" at the UNHCR. Just minors could start their procedure and during the last CNE session, 7 files of minors have been treated out of which 6 were granted refugee status. Besides this, Italy evacuated 32 persons who were sick or who had been tortured in a "Shap-Shap" operation.

The sudanese people suffer from psychological problems without assistance, from lack of education for all age groups, from being far away from the city in the desert with a lot of heat and dust and also from widespread, according to them unfounded, prejudice within the local population, treating them as "(ex-)combattants" or "criminals".

Almost all Sudanese in Agadez are people from Darfur region who survived the war and afterwards had gone to Libya to search for safety and work, but the horrible situation in Libya made them flee to Niger republic.

This situation is happening in a context where European states are searching for "externalising" the treatment of the cases of refugees fleeing wars and persecution like in countries of East Africa to countries far from European borders. The state of Niger is presently serving as a model for externalising the asylum system towards outside Europe, receiving considerable funds from the EU member states.

The more it is important not to close the eyes towards the destiny of refugees who are presently blocked in Niger under these policies of externalisation of border regime and asylum system.