RISE highly condemns the forceful deportation of hundreds of Sudanese refugees- mostly from Darfur- to Sudan by the Jordanian government. According to the report, troops entered the area at around 3 am in the morning, forcibly rounded up the Sudanese refugees and escorted them to the airport.
The majority of Sudanese refugees in Jordan come from war zones such as Darfur in western Sudan. Darfur was an independent region until 1916 when the British forcibly occupied and merged it with another region, Sudan, which was also under British occupation. After Sudan gained independence in 1956, Darfur continued to be economically marginalised and underdeveloped at a federal level. Ever since war began in Darfur in 2003, around 300,000 people have been killed, and more than 3 million people have been displaced internally and externally. Most of the casualties and forced displacements are of civilians. The international community has turned a blind eye over the ongoing war in Darfur.
New Sudanese special forces under the command of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), have committed war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity, systemic discrimination, and other abuses against Darfur civilians. Thus, the persecution led by the Sudan government forces these people to seek asylum in different countries, including neighbouring countries such as Jordan.
Since last month, the conditions of Sudanese asylum seekers has become very critical. As a result, they started protesting for humanitarian assistance and better living conditions in Jordanian refugee camps. The Jordanian government started punishing and discriminating against Sudanese seeking asylum in Jordan, and denied their basic rights according to the UN Refugee Convention of 1951.
The Jordanian government denied Sudanese refugees protection, as well as the right to seek asylum, by dehumanising and detaining Sudanese refugees, and then deporting them back to the danger of further persecution in Sudan.
According to reports, about 4000 Sudanese asylum seekers are in Jordan. Majority of the Sudanese that have been deported are registered in UNHCR, and have faced discrimination from the Jordanian government based on their race and skin colour. Jordanian authorities, rather than protecting those who fled the war in Darfur, detained and deported about 800 Sudanese asylum seekers back to Sudan.
When refugees seek protection, they should not be deported back to where they would face persecution nor should they be detained crossing borders. Refugees must be treated humanely, with dignity, and given protection. In deporting Sudanese refugees, Jordan shows the rest of the world that it does not comply with its own customary human rights laws, and does so with outright xenophobia.
At RISE, we wonder which part of the world we can seek protection in if every country keeps deporting and detaining our community members (refugees), and where is the so called “justice” here for us? It should not be just theory in books, but it should also be practiced.