BNF leader calls on France to protect Sudanese asylum seekers


BNF leader Mahmoud Hassanein (C) and French Special Envoy Stéphane Gruenberg (L) and the secretary of BNF France Mahmoud Abubakr pose for a picture on 21 September 2017 (ST Photo)


September 21, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Ali Mahmoud Hassanein, head of the opposition Broad National Front (BNF) has called on the French government to protect Sudanese asylum seekers and not to deport them to the Sudan.

The exiled political leader made his call in a meeting with the French Special Envoy for Sudan, Stéphane Gruenberg on Thursday in Paris, as he discussed the political situation in the country and explained the BNF’s platform which rejects any negotiations and calls to topple down the regime of President Omer al-Bashir.

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune after the meeting, Hassanein said he explained to the French diplomat that the repressive policies of the Sudanese government, war and corruption “prompted many young people to migrate across the Mediterranean in search of a safe place in Europe at risk including drowning.

The political figure, according to the statement, condemned some the forced repatriation by “some European countries” of refugees to Sudan alluding to the repatriation of Sudanese from Italy, Belgium, Germany, and France.

Belgium’s state minister last week announced a deal with the Sudanese government to cooperate with them in the identification of Sudanese asylum seekers and migrants before to deport them to Khartoum.

The decision raised a wave of criticism against the minister. However, activists say the Sudanese embassies across Europe cooperate in a way or another with the different governments to repatriate its nationals who arrived from Libya via Italy’s shores.

According to the Italian Interior Ministry, 95,215 people had reached Italy until the end of July in 2017, down 2.7 percent from the same period in 2016.

The HCR says 5065 Sudanese arrived in Europe through Italy until the 31 August. More than a half of Sudanese migrants have arrived in France.

Hassanein “explained that the cessation of migration cannot be achieved through the cooperation and support of dictatorial regimes but rather by working to eliminate tyrants and establish a democratic regime,” said the statement.

JOINT CALL FOR UNITY

In a separate development, the BNF and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) launched a joint call to reunite the opposition groups and to work together to overthrow the Sudanese regime.

Hassanein and Girbil Ibrahim JEM leader said they agreed that the opposition has no alternative but to break down the Alinqaz Regime by all means.

They further stressed that the lack of prospects for a political solution, the regime’s rejection to make the needed concessions for a just peace, and the economic collapse in the country push them to move in this direction.

(ST)