Inicio NOTICIAS S. Sudanese officials arrive to oversee repatriations

S. Sudanese officials arrive to oversee repatriations

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A delegation of officials from the South Sudan Interior Ministry arrived in Israel Wednesday morning to help oversee the deportation of South Sudanese citizens detained by immigration officials this week, the Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.
The delegation is purely bureaucratic and is in no way political in nature, a Foreign Ministry official said, adding that the officials will help process the repatriation of their citizens and will also examine if any of those slated for deportation could be, in their estimation, eligible to receive refugee status in Israel.
The official added that since repatriation requires the cooperation of the home country, the delegation is in Israel until Sunday in order to make sure the return is down in a coordinated matter with South Sudan.
The official said that he had not heard of any statements made by the officials criticizing Israel’s decision to deport South Sudanese citizens, but added that recent anti-migrant statements by Israeli MKs and violence directed at migrants “are not doing us any good anywhere in the world, neither in terms of the bilateral discussions on repatriation and on multilateral level nor in terms of our relations with organizations around the world.
The Population, Immigration, and Borders Authority (PIBA) announced Wednesday that their officers have detained around 270 migrants since “Operation Returning Home” began Sunday morning. The deportations follow a decision by the Jerusalem District Court last Thursday to reject a petition by human rights groups that called for banning the expulsion of South Sudanese migrants on the grounds that their lives would be endangered by returning.
Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that “we are taking care of the infiltrators problem. In another few months the fence will be finished and we will stop the flow of infiltrators.”
Netanyahu added that in the coming months the Egypt border fence should be completed and mentioned Israel’s efforts to begin building a holding facility for infiltrators, and to stiffen penalties for employers hiring illegal migrants.
“We have also decided to return them [African migrants] to their home countries. We will solve this problem,” Netanyahu said.
As the detentions continued Wednesday, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Ahoronovitch condemned what he described as the populist manner in which the Interior Ministry was handling the deportations.
"I don\’t like – and that\’s an understatement – the public relations, or that media photographers were added [to the Oz Unit making the arrests]," the minister told Army Radio Wednesday.
"Photographing the migrants during their arrest is wrong and it\’s populist. These are human beings, and their human dignity must be safeguarded," he added.
He accused the Interior Ministry of seeking to show off to the Israeli public and prove how effective was being, adding that in reality, "only dozens or a hundred" migrants were arrested.
The South Sudanese community numbers between 700-1,500 out of the total illegal African migrant population of over 60,000 in Israel. Around 85-90% are from Eritrea and Sudan and cannot be deported by Israel at the time-being, because they would stand to be persecuted upon return.

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