What a Waste of Life for Refugees!
I was born in Cairo, Egypt, in 1956 from Sudanese parents. I grow up in Cairo and Khartoum. I obtained my B.Sc. degree from University of Khartoum. I worked as a civil structural engineer in Sudan for four years; and seven years in Saudi Arabia with a government department. I didn’t like it there but I needed the money.
For six years after I returned to Sudan from Saudi Arabia, I failed to establish my own private housing company. I fled the Sudan twice for Eritrea; Zimbabwe; Botswana; and Zambia due to business, ethnic, religious, and political reasons. I failed during my exile to get any recognition as a refugee or even any temporary documents. My two exiles lasted for a total of eight years; I spent six years of them in prisons and one detention center without charges in Eritrea and Botswana.
The answers I got for my applications for protection as a refugee in these four African countries ranged from: “Wait we are considering your case”; “His story is not credible”; “He is considered a security risk”; “He is a person of no-concern to the state”; and “He had not established a valid claim”. The UNHCR was of no good at all.
To prove to the Eritrean authorities the false malicious claims of their Sudanese opposition, at that time, that I am not a spy; and that I deeply fear and reject being deported by force back to Sudan, I amputated my left little finger using a razor.
My asylum application had been rejected several times in Botswana, and I suffered from obvious negligence from the UNHCR. Later, with the help of a tipoff from a senior UNHCR officer I discovered that one Sudanese senior head in the UNHCR and another one a diplomat were following my troubles in Botswana. They did that without letting me know that. Their purpose was to foil my attempts to get protection and to force me to return to Sudan, to be under close monitoring and tough restrictions. Both officials are my close kinsmen, from tribes close to the government.
The Eritrean authority forced me to leave their country after two and half years of terrible imprisonment conditions just because I protested twice peacefully against being of no-status during the three and half years stay in Eritrea.
The Office of the President in Botswana tried to deport me by force to Zimbabwe at first then when the Zimbabwean authorities refused they locked me for three years and three months (from 3 August 2001 until 1 November 2004) in police stations and common prisons without charges and then held me in a detention center for illegal immigrants without a reason preventing my transfer to a refugee camp.
After two years from the beginning of my detention, I made a passive sit-down protest. The response was attacks from prison officers causing me injuries and humiliations. My restrained demands to report the matters to the police were provocatively ignored repeatedly. I ended up smashing a 50×50 cm. windowpane with my bare hand. Only after that they took me to hospital to treat my body and hand. But they refused to let me file a case against the assaulting officers.
Shortly after that, I was released from detention to be transferred to Dukwi Refugee Camp without any papers. Dukwi Refugee Camp is a miserable waste piece of land in a dissolute corner of Botswana; it is located in the far north of the country near the border with Zambia while the UNHCR offices are in the capital Gaborone in the most southern part just on the border with South Africa!!!!! I assume the authorities in Botswana wanted me to flee their country on my own. Officers from UNHCR make very rare brief visits to that terrible camp. Read this article: “Dukwi refugee camp: a living hell for asylum seekers?” written on 28 Feb 2011 (long after my sufferings) by two local journalists Kopano Olesitse and Kunyalala Manyepedza and published by a local newspaper The Monitor/Mmegi online.
Few months later I met a local girl, we lived together for a while then we married. As a result of breaking that tiny windowpane more than a year ago, the State in Botswana charged me with the offense of “malicious damage to government properties” and after a mock trial without any legal defense or UNHCR representation the court sentenced me to six-month imprisonment without the option of fine. I didn’t appeal and the UNHCR didn’t even contact me. I served most of the sentence in the high security section in the Francistown Main Prison locked in filthy, very congested and violent conditions with serious convicts and criminals.
With such type of sentence as a convict I was subsequently declared a prohibited immigrant, a demotion from the status of illegal immigrant which I had for three years. This meant that holding me in the detention center is legal and indefinite. As a result I was forced to withdraw my application for refugee status and request my return to the Sudan, before my wife gave birth to my child.
I applied for refugee status in Zambia but it was rejected swiftly. Now I live in a voluntary self-imposed exile in the vicinity of my home in Khartoum, Sudan, with complete passive disengagement in any local and national matters and retirement from my profession. The internet became my only companion and friend.
The UNHCR is truly good for nothing indeed. They are a useless punch of highly paid corrupt lazy bureaucrats. This is also true to other United Nations organizations and international humanitarian NGOs and all other similar nonsense. They are the worst forms of wasting resources and feeding cronies and luxurious employment for the West and their associates.
I am a Sudanese civil engineer; from Nubian-Fadicca local nation/ tribe, resident in Khartoum, Sudan. You may describe me as a political activist; Liberal non-ethnic Nationalist; Africanist; Swadeshi believer; secular humanist; Anti-globalism; Anti-liberal democracy. My academic and professional records were good; and I had plenty of initiatives and skills.
I am very much interested in developing a better alternative to modern Western liberal democracy. I call my proposal “Three Dimensional Democracy”. You may read a brief on this issue on this blog and also at: ModernGhana.com columnists, or at: GhanaWeb.com bloggers section.
Professionally, I gave up civil engineering since 1995; my business interests included: optimum-cost housing; development of appropriate technologies; computer; and small finance.
I invite you to read and comment to my articles published at this page and also on my English WordPress blog Tarig Anter. And on Ghana Web blog; And also at Modern Ghana Columnist; and my blog on OleAfrica.com; and my articles on SpyGhana.com; you can also visit my Arabic WordPress blog.