Is­rael to free 200 African mi­grants await­ing de­por­ta­tion

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - WORLD REPORT -

IS­RAEL will re­lease about 200 jailed African mi­grants in the ab­sence of a fi­nal deal to de­port them and thou­sands more Eritrean and Su­danese men who en­tered the coun­try il­le­gally, the In­te­rior Min­istry said on Sun­day.

The gov­ern­ment has been try­ing to fi­nalise an agree­ment with Uganda to take in the mi­grants, who came into Is­rael on foot through the Egyp­tian bor­der over the past decade.

Most of the 200 men set for re­lease were sent to a desert prison in re­cent months to await de­por­ta­tion to Uganda.

But with ne­go­ti­a­tions con­tin­u­ing over a deal with Uganda, Is­rael’s In­te­rior Min­istry, which has faced court, chal­lenges by rights groups over the de­ten­tions is­sued a state­ment on Sun­day say­ing it would be­gin re­leas­ing the mi­grants.

The Is­raeli gov­ern­ment says the 37,000 mi­grants in Is­rael are job seek­ers and that it has ev­ery right to pro­tect its borders. The mi­grants and rights groups say they are seek­ing asy­lum and are flee­ing war and per­se­cu­tion.

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