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On June 2013 Israel Government has take the decision to expel 55.000 Sudanese and Eritreans immigrants currently in the country, most of them illegally. Considering that it will not be possible sent them in the neighbor Egypt, Israel has been forced to find a third Country willing to absorb them.

Israeli Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar told to Knesset (Israel Parliament) last week that the special envoy of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Hagai Hadas, had reached an agreement with a third country to absorb Eritreans and Sudanese immigrants that will be expelled from Israel.

Infiltrator population expulsion will be done it two phases. The first one Israel Government will focus on raising awareness within the population of infiltrators while helping them with the logistic and financial assistance of their departure, including costs, airfare and dealing with the possessions they accumulated while they were in Israel.

In the second phase Israel will set a dead-line by which the infiltrator population can willingly leave the country. Ones the dead-line will be expired Israel will proceed to the forced expulsions without any facilitation or aid forecast for the immigrant that are willing to collaborate.
Never less that Israel Government has not reveled the thirty country identity, Israel’ Medias has reveled that is Uganda. According the accurate journalist investigations meanly done by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Kampala has accepted to take 1500 Sudanese and 2000 Eritreans currently in Israel in exchange for military, technological and agricultural aid where the military aspect (training, weapons and ammunition supply) will have an important role. The Ugandan government will also receive $ 8,000 per head to absorb the refugees. According to the arrangement, Uganda, will either accept the migrants or serve as a transit station to their own countries. Other Israeli Medias reports a number of migrants more elevate, estimated around 12,000 peoples.

Uganda Government has strongly denied the accusation done by Israel newspaper Haaretz, meantime the Israel Government has preferred pronounced a classic No Comment. “We are not aware of any such deal. There is no way Uganda would enter into such an arrangement.”, Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Elly Kamahungye said.

However his affirmation has been partially contradicted by the International Affair Ministry Henry Okello Oryem that has confirmed Uganda had been approached by Israel to take in the refugees. The proposal has been refused, according Mr. Oryem, because of Uganda immigration doesn’t forecast to accept repatriated or deported immigrants. “We only accept refugees who walk across our borders in search of protection not unwanted immigrants rejected by other countries” Mr. Oryem said.

Uganda has a long collaboration history with Israel since President Yoweri Museveni has reestablished the diplomatic relation when he took the power on 1987. Israeli investment and economic collaboration is focus meanly on agriculture and industrial sectors. The military cooperation on Ugandan soldiers training, weapons, ammunition, logistic and communication equipment supply. Mossad close collaborate with Ugandan Intelligence.

Since 20 years Uganda host thousands of refugees coming from neighbor countries. The most important community was the Banyarwanda ones, refugees coming from Rwanda and escaping the racist Hutu regime of President Habyrimana. Now the most important refugee community is composed by Congolese that escape from the war in east DRC and the South Sudanese.

Uganda asylum policy is more oriented to integrate refugees on the social and economic local contest instead to have permanent refugee camps considered as a national security problem. The Rwandan refugees represent the most successful integration. Most of them have obtained the citizenship occupying important place in the Government and Army.

At the present there are refugee camps in north east of the country in order to host the Congolese refugees. These camps are run by Government, UNHCR and International NGO like Doctors Without Borders (MSF). Recently one of these camps has inspired the work of well known Italian photo reporter: Fulvio Bugani, on August 2013 he has make a photographic documentary commissioned by MSF.

Israeli human rights groups accuse the Government to violate the refugees UN policy. Over the past eight years, around 60,000 African migrants, mostly form Eritrea and Sudan, have entered Israel via Egypt. Around 2,000 of them are held in prison camps. Most of the migrants have applied for refugee status, but their requests are systematically refused by Israeli authorities even if them are coming from two African dictatorial countries number ones enemies of Israel.

African migrant’s deportation risks to have serious consequences on their own security. It is not possible to them to go back to their own countries, so the will be condemned to live as eternal migrants in precarious conditions.

Israeli humans rights organizations in the attempt to stop the Israel – Uganda deportation agreement have issued in a common statement: “Uganda is no longer a save country and there is no way to ensure the safety of those deported to it” Unlucky these human rights organization in the noble tentative to protect African migrants have assumed common non sense and negative images of African and meanly on Uganda that are far away from the reality and risk to be considered as racist stereotypes.

As remark Dr. Jan Clarke, Ugandan citizen with Irish origin, International Kampala Hospital Director and famous politician: “This story is really ironic. After the Second World War, Uganda was considered between the countries apt to settle European Jews survived from the holocaust. Now we have become the dumping ground for those thrown out of the Promised Land”.

Fulvio Beltrami
Kampala Uganda

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