Timisoara receives Sudanese refugees from Iraq

Tuesday 16, December 2008 TIMISOARA, December 16 (UNHCR) – A group of 97 Sudanese refugees mainly from Darfur, who have been stranded in a makeshift camp in the desert in Iraq since the late 1980s, departed this morning for Romania via Jordan. In Romania they will be housed in the […]

Tuesday 16, December 2008

TIMISOARA, December 16 (UNHCR) – A group of 97 Sudanese refugees mainly from Darfur, who have been stranded in a makeshift camp in the desert in Iraq since the late 1980s, departed this morning for Romania via Jordan.

In Romania they will be housed in the new Emergency Transit Centre while they await for their resettlement applications to be processed. UNHCR would like to thank the governments of Jordan and Romania for their cooperation in making this movement possible.

The group, which is currently in Jordan, will depart tonight on a special flight from Marka Airport in Amman to Bucharest. It will be followed shortly by another 42 Sudanese refugees who are expected to leave Iraq in January 2009.

The group fled Sudan in the late 1980s and since their departure from Sudan conditions in Darfur have seriously deteriorated. The refugees have had little or no contact with their families in Sudan. They fear returning to their country, where they would find themselves in a situation of internal displacement.

The refugees suffered abuse, blackmail, eviction and assaults by militias, following the 2003 war. A total of 17 Sudanese were killed between December 2004 and February 2005. Because of this targeting by the insurgent groups, the refugees tried to flee Iraq but were not successful. They became stranded in the K-70 camp outside Al Rutbah town, in the Al Anbar desert, some 75 km east of the Jordan/Iraq border. Here they were subject to severe weather conditions and harassment by militias. UNHCR has delivered humanitarian aid to the group, which includes women and children, while trying to find a durable solution for them.