Go Back To Africa!
Strictly speaking, Sudanese refugees in Egypt never left. As the Washington Post tells the story (thanks to the eagle eye of Aunt Agatha:
CAIRO — On a dirt lane in the poor Arba wa Nus neighborhood, Malles Tonga, a Sudanese refugee, spoke loudly about the brutality of Egyptian police and blamed President Hosni Mubarak for their behavior.
Suddenly, an Egyptian merchant emerged from a nearby dry-goods store, shouted an Egyptian slur for black Africans and yelled: “If you don’t like it here, go home!”
The use of the expletive exemplifies the plight of Sudanese who come to Egypt as refugees: They fear going home, but the welcome mat in Egypt, always thin of resources and tolerance, is almost threadbare.
The situation of Sudanese in Egypt brings to light the special difficulties refugees face when they flee a war-ravaged and impoverished land for another poor country. Egypt is in many ways an inhospitable place for its own citizens. In Arba wa Nus, Egyptians share with the Sudanese arrivals the neighborhood’s open sewers, dusty alleys, lack of plumbing and precarious chockablock housing.
But dark-skinned Sudanese Christians stand out among the Egyptians, typically lighter-skinned Muslim Arabs. Human rights workers say the Sudanese are subject to taunts, discrimination and violence.
The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees has registered about 24,000 Sudanese refugees here, but independent observers estimate there are hundreds of thousands. Unlike in some other African countries, Sudanese in Egypt are not granted blanket U.N. refugee status, which would open the possibility of resettlement.
Only two months ago, remember, Egyptian police raided a Sudanese refugee camp–oh wait, the UN says they’re not refugees, so I guess they’re just refuse–and killed an estimated 28 people. So an “Egyptian slur for black Africans” is a definite improvement. And if the UN says they’re not refugees, what is it doing for them? Glad you asked:
UNITED NATIONS – The U.N. Security Council remained divided Monday on imposing punitive measures over the conflict in Darfur despite calls for sanctions against Sudanese allegedly blocking peace in the region.
U.S. Ambassador John Bolton, on the next to last day of the U.S. presidency of the council, scheduled a closed-door meeting to discuss a report by a U.N.-appointed panel that recommended sanctions against key figures from all groups.
Most of the 15-member council were in favor of sanctions, led by the United States, Britain, France and Denmark â€” but Qatar, China, and Russia were strongly opposed, council diplomats said. Qatar is the only Arab member of the council, China is a major buyer of Sudanese oil, and Russia traditionally opposes sanctions.
How do you say no blood for oil in Chinese?
While he’s got them in a room, honorary Bloodthirstani Bolton can get to item two on his agenda:
United Nations — The United States wants to reopen negotiations on the draft resolution establishing a United Nations Human Rights Council, U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said February 27.
“My instructions are to reopen the negotiations and to try and correct the manifold deficiencies in the text of the resolution or alternatively to push off consideration of the resolution for several months,” Bolton told journalists.
“We are very disappointed with the draft â€¦ we don’t think it’s acceptable,” Bolton said of the draft resolution presented February 23 by General Assembly President Jan Eliasson.
Is it any wonder I love this man? And just to wrap things up nicely, Sudan–whose barbaric treatment of its black Christian population prompted the very refuse crisis about which I write–serves on the very Human Rights Council we seek to reform (or has until recently). It’s not your daddy’s UN anymore.