New state beckons to Sudanese refugees in Israel
English.news.cn 2011-07-26 00:15:43
Encouraged by the recently-celebrated birth of their new country, a number of Sudanese refugees that have resided in Israel in recent years, on Sunday flew home.
Among the six were a woman and her three children, aged two to six, the Yedioth Aharonot daily reported on Monday. They boarded a flight at Ben-Gurion International Airport to a third country, from where they will continue on their journey to South Sudan.
The nation officially proclaimed its long-sought independence on July 9, thus becoming the world's newest nation and splitting Africa's largest country in two.
Israel's Population and Migration Authority (PMA) handled the departure procedures with the assistance of the International Christian Embassy. The group was interviewed by foreign organizations that oversee refugee asylum laws meant to ensure that they were leaving by their free will and not being deported.
The refugees were given a special state stipend to ease their absorption in South Sudan – 500 USD per adult and 300 USD for each of the children, according to the report.
A PMA spokesman was not immediately available for comment.
Some 6,000 Sudanese refugees and labor migrants currently live in Israel, after entering the country through the border with Egypt.
Immigration officials estimated that many of them will follow suit and initiate a request to return home, optimistic that South Sudan will offer them a brighter, safer future.
Israel's Interior Minister Eli Yishai had reportedly launched preparations for the orderly departure of additional refugees, 600 of whom left the country in recent months.
Since Israeli airlines do not offer direct flights to Sudan, the government will lease planes and fly the refugees at its own expense. The PMA plans to officially call on the refugees to return home.
South Sudan establishes full diplomatic relations with Israel
July 28, 2011 (JUBA) – The newly born Republic of South Sudan has officially established full diplomatic ties with the state of Israel three weeks after it became independent, revealed the caretaker minister of information, Banaba Marial Benjamin.
On Thursday, President Salva Kiir Mayardit received an official letter from the Israeli government, congratulating the leadership for attaining independence of their new country and pledging for establishing full diplomatic relations with South Sudan.
In an official statement he read out on South Sudan TV today, Barnaba Marial further explained that the two countries will soon open their respective embassies in Juba and Tel Aviv at ambassadorial levels.
He said the letter also praised the leadership in South Sudan for their wise strategy and focus that has successfully sailed their ship across the river to the other side of the shore towards independence.
The government’s spokesperson further lauded the new development, saying the diplomatic ties with the Jewish state will also enable South Sudan to contribute to resolutions of the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East.
Most countries in the Arab League, including North Sudan, do not have diplomatic relations with Israel and consider the latter an enemy state.
The move is an assertion of how South Sudan’s foreign policy will differ from Khartoum as it establishes itself on the world stage. South Sudan is home mainly to Christian’s and those with African traditional beliefs in contrast to the Islam dominated North.
South Sudan broke away from the rest of Sudan on 9 July following an overwhelming vote for independence in a referendum conducted in January 2011. The exercise came as a result of a self-determination right provided for in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in 2005 to end 21 years of the second phase of the war between North and South Sudan.
The Israeli government today also confirmed South Sudan’s announcement.
"The cooperation between the states will be based on the firm foundations that guide them in forming friendly ties, out of equality and mutual respect," Israeli foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in a statement.
Two weeks ago, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held talks by phone with South Sudan President Salva Kiir, offering Israeli help in the areas of infrastructure, development and agriculture.
Israel is home to thousands of Sudanese refugees and migrant workers who arrived on foot after crossing Egypt’s Sinai peninsular.