Welcome to our latest open forum CFP chat. We warmly welcome Mahmoud Hilali, CFP for Sudan who will talk about the refugee crisis in Sudan. Please introduce yourself, tell us what you do and the issues facing refugees?
Hello colleagues. I am a PhD student at the University of Basel, studying Epidemiology. I have a long history in initiating medical campaigns targeting Sudanese in rural areas and refugee camps. I work jointly with NGOs and the UN. After the war intensity in Sudan declined and peace started to become normal refugees started to arrive from countries like Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Chad. Sudan accepted the refugees as citizens. No limit was set. However there was no proper integration program, no control on labour or where they lived. Refugees could start their own businesses almost immediately after arriving. They had limitless freedom and made successful businesses. Unfortunately some also established human trafficking networks as well as human-organs business. My view is the Sudanese government needs to review the situation with the world community to help control the negative products of political instability in the region.
So, in summary, refugees to Sudan hold legal status and have legally registered businesses. These businesses are used as a front to carry out illegal operations like human trafficking and human organs?
Exactly. Kidnapping is also a major problem – kidnapped victims pay money to gang members in Khartoum or Libya. Kidnapping in non-selective. Refugees or even Sudanese nationals willing to cross the Mediterranean are subject to it. Libya is the first destination.
Is the Sudanese government aware of the operations but is receiving ‘backhanders’ to ignore it? ie local and national government officials are accepting corrupt payments and ignoring the practice?
I do believe that the current situation is well known and may be supported by some officials
Mahamat (DCFP Chad)
Can you specify whether the refugees in Darfur are from Sudan or Chad?
Refugees in Darfur are either Sudanese locally displaced or from Chad. Currently Chad is helping their citizens get back safely. It also hosts Sudanese coming from Darfur.
As an epidemiologist, what are the current diseases in the refugees settings?
We anticipate real problem with communicable diseases and more specially with multi-drug resistant tuberculosis
Oumarou (CFP Mali)
You’re talking about refugees and we know there are children there. What are the education facilities offered to them in that situation?
When the refugees are willing to educate their children the school doors are always open
Considering all the political, economic, social and environmental issues what would you consider are the key actions to resolve these issues?
- Refugees should be registered as usual.
- Social assistance should be offered to cover their needs.
- A policy should be developed to control the nature of activities practiced.
- Refugees should not be offered complete financial freedom unless they have stayed for a given number of years.
- Monitoring of borders.
- A regional plan is necessary to control human trafficking.
- Medical care and treatment of communicable diseases.
- The need to raise awareness and campaign to push government actions