The Egyptian Government and UNHCR: A Shared Responsibility

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The Egyptian Government and UNHCR: A Shared Responsibility
Although the armed conflict in Southern Sudan and Darfur has been taking place for tens of years, this conflict intensifies in recent years, leading to a growing number of refugees and displaced persons. Hence, as the number of the Sudanese people who flee their country increases rapidly in recent years, the world has started to pay attention to the low economic, social, and personal status of refugees in the recipient countries. For example, the violence of the Egyptian police authorities towards the Sudanese refugees who gathered in Mohandeseen square two years ago has pointed the attention towards the extreme suffering of those refugees in Egypt. Fleeing the atrocities that are committed against them in their home country, most Sudanese refugees come to Egypt, hoping to find a safe and comfortable place to live in. The majority of these Sudanese refugees do not consider Egypt as their final destination; rather, they want to be resettled permanently in another European country via the measures of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Egypt. However, a great number of those refugees fail to gain a refugee status and a resettlement in another country. Consequently, those refugees are stuck between the inefficiency of the UNHCR and the ill-treatment of the Egyptian government. Therefore, most of the personal, economic, and social sufferings of the Sudanese refugees in Egypt are a shared responsibility between the UNHCR and the Egyptian government, who should be responsible for facilitating the lives of those refugees. Those who decide to flee their homes and residents in Sudan are actually willing to live a comfortable and stable life in a safe place. Thus, most of those Sudanese refugees risk their lives and go through dangerous journeys in order to escape the violence and killing in their communities. In that sense, the Sudanese people who flee their country seek a refugee status because they have "a well-founded fear" over their lives. One of the main destinations to which the Sudanese refugees go is Egypt. This is primarily due to the closeness of Egypt to the borders of Sudan. Accordingly, many political and social thinkers believe that the search for safety and security is the main reason behind the decision of many Sudanese people to flee their country and come to Egypt. For instance, in "Resettle or Return," Michaela Cabrera explores the bloody atmosphere in Sudan, driving many of the civilians to escape this situation and cross borders to Egypt. To visualize the horror that the Sudanese people face in their home country and their desire to save their lives by coming to Egypt, Cabrera states that "Sudanese refugees who escaped from the bloody conflict in Darfur say that anything is better than the atrocities in their country" (Cabrera). Therefore, the bloody fighting and armed conflict in various areas in Sudan are the main motivators behind the decision of a growing number of Sudanese civilians to flee their country and come to Egypt. However, when those Sudanese refugees arrive to Egypt, they soon find that the situation in their new destination is not much better that that in Sudan. Those refugees are always faced with new forms of suffering in Egypt, including poverty, lack of education facilities, and rarity of job opportunities. Thus, the Sudanese refugees are again victims of social insecurity and instability in Egypt. As observed by Cabrera, those Sudanese refugees who arrive to Egypt "end up unemployed and frustrated, dependent on the good will of family and friends, and yearning for greener pastures abroad." Thus, the Sudanese refugees escape the atrocities which they face in their country to be shocked by the low economic and social conditions which they face in Egypt. In this context, the suffering of those Sudanese refugees during their residence in Egypt can best be described and explained by some of those...
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