Day By Day

Friday, December 30, 2005

Sudanese Refugees Attacked in Cairo

The horror stories out of Africa never end. AP reports that Egypt has resorted to Mugabean tactics in response to a flood of refugees out of Sudan.
CAIRO, Egypt - Egyptian police turned water cannons on Sudanese war refugees and beat them with sticks Friday, brutally clearing out a squatters camp in a city park. At least 10 people were killed, the government said. Hundreds of Sudanese have been living in the park since September to protest the U.N. refugee agency's refusal to consider them for refugee status. They want to be resettled in a third country, such as the United States or Britain, rather than go home after a peace deal ended the 21-year-long civil war in Sudan.
Read about it here.


The NYT reports some details.

The Sudanese - thousands of men, women and children - were packed into what amounted to a traffic island in an upscale neighborhood. They had fled war-torn Sudan, but the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees office in Cairo - across the street from where they camped out - told them that they were not eligible for refugee status or for relocation because it was safe for them to return home.

The police had tried for hours to persuade them to leave the small square, hosing them with water cannons, surrounding them with cordons of riot control officers, imploring the women and children to board buses, and repeatedly warning that they would be removed by force.

When the officers charged, women and children tried to huddle together, and to hide under blankets as some men grabbed for anything - tree limbs, metal bars - struggling to fight back, witnesses said. The police hesitated, then rushed in with full force, trampling people and dragging the Sudanese off to waiting buses, the witnesses said.

"They started hitting our heads with the sticks and dragging us," said Napoleon Robert Lado, a leader of the group, speaking on a cellphone from a police camp where he and others had been taken. "They dragged me when I was trying to help a woman who fainted to stand up. They dragged me, and I was stepping over the old people and women and children. I was screaming and trying to step away, but could not."

By nightfall, Muhammad Khalaf, head of the area's emergency department, said there were 23 dead, 7 of them children, 8 elderly, and 7 more women. Rights organizations said others died after being taken to police camps and being denied immediate access to health care.

Read it here.


There was a blogger there to witness the atrocity:

The most horrible was the EGYPTIANS! Civilians who cheered as if they are cheering for the “army forces” freeing Palestine! As forces advanced in battle; the audience cheered, whistled and clapped. They were amused!

Check out Nora Younis here.

Several excellent pictures, like the one above.

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