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Loss of refugee status leaves many Angolans undocumented in

난민지위의 상실이 많은 앙골라인들을 서류 미기재 상태로 내버려두게 한다.

 

- 2013년 9월 10일자 -

 

 

앙골라(Republic of Angola)는 아프리카 남서부에 위치한 나라로, 1975년부터 2002년까지 긴 시간 다이아몬드와 석유, 그 외 자원의 분배문제로 정부와 반군 사이의 내전이 일어났다. 비록 지금은 빠른 성장률을 보이며 성장하고 있지만, 긴 내전은 많은 난민들을 야기한다.  


최근 내전이 끝나면서 난민의 다수가 거주하고 있는 남아프리카공화국(Republic of South Africa)에서는 그들의 난민지위를 해제하고자 했다. 그들은 본국으로 송환되거나, 공화국에 머물기 위해 지원하거나, 조금 더 간단한 단기체류 서류를 제출하는 것 중에 선택을 할 수 있었다.



여기서 6000여명의 난민 중 대부분은 본국으로의 송환은 선택하고 있지 않다. 그들이 앙골라로의 귀환을 거부하는 이유는 앙골라의 상황이 불안정하고, 위험해서이다. 앙골라가 경제전략을 통해 국가순위를 177개국 중 162위에서 179개국 중 149위로 올린 것으로 보아 자리를 잡고 있는 상황임을 가만할 때 사실 이는 잘 이해가 가지 않는 처사이나, 


난민들은 길게는 30년 넘게 남아프리카공화국에 거주해왔으므로 삶의 터전을 잃고 싶지 않은 그들의 사정은 충분히 가만할 만하다. 남아프리카공화국에 체류하기로 지원한 난민들의 서류제출기간이 필수 서류가 준비되는 기간보다 더 기한이 짧아 서류가 접수되지 않은 상황이다.  



이러한 상황에서 앙골라는 남아프리카공화국에 서류기한을 12월까지 미뤄줄 것을 요구하고 있다. 이와 함께 두 국가는 협력해서 난민을 최대한 본국으로 송환하는 방안을 모색 중인데, 이것이 두 국가 모두에게 이득이기 때문이다.


서류기한을 늘리지 않고 무조건 본국으로의 송환을 추진한다면 난민들은 무국적의 상태로 남아프리카공화국에서 불법체류자가 될 가능성이 높다. 따라서 서류를 준비할 수 있는 충분한 기간을 남아프리카공화국 당국에서 마련할 필요가 있으며, 본국으로의 송환 문제는 앙골라의 경제성장 저력을 난민에게 설명하는 등의 회유책을 써서 강제적인 방법이 아닌 회유책을 동원해야 할 것이다.


 

<출처 및 참고사이트>


http://www.irinnews.org/report/98724/loss-of-refugee-status-leaves-many-angolans-undocumented-in-south-africa

http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1843951&Itemid=1

http://www.enca.com/south-africa/cessation-refugee-status-leaves-angolans-troubled

http://www.cfr.org/world/angolas-political-economic-development/p16820

 


{원문}

Loss of refugee status leaves many Angolans undocumented in

 

JOHANNESBURG, 10 September 2013 (IRIN) - Many Angolan refugees living in South Africa have been left undocumented after a deadline for the cessation of their refugee status elapsed before they were able to secure immigration permits or exemption decisions.

In May, the South African government announced plans to implement a recommendation by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to end refugee status for Angolans who had fled their country due to the civil war, which ended in 2002. Nearly 6,000 Angolan refugees, the majority of whom live in Cape Town, were given until 31 August to either repatriate to Angola, apply for an exemption in order to remain in South Africa as a refugee, or apply for a temporary residence permit under “relaxed” documentation requirements.

Help desks were set up at Refugee Reception Offices to give the refugees information and help filling out the required forms. 

Reluctant to return

 Very few of the refugees were interested in returning home. In fact, according to the Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town, which has been assisting Angolans affected by the cessation process, by the August deadline only 11 refugees had done so.

“None of the guys I know want to go back to Angola,” said Manuel Panzo, chairperson of the Congress of Student and Angola Community, a group representing Angolans in South Africa. He described the government of Angola under the leadership of President José Eduardo dos Santos as “a totalitarian regime”, adding that former political activists were “scared to go back”.

Others were reluctant to give up work and family ties that they had established in South Africa over more than a decade of residence. 

Window closed

 Two of Angolan refugee Joao Pedro’s three children were born in Cape Town, where he is supporting his family through his job as a pipe fitter. Following the May announcement, he decided to apply for a residence permit, but on approaching the help desk at the Cape Town Refugee Office was told that he would first have to apply for an Angolan passport.

He made the passport application in mid-July, but did not receive his passport before the 31 August deadline. As a result, he missed the three-month window that would have allowed him to apply for a two-year temporary residency permit under relaxed requirements and is now, essentially, undocumented. 

"I have no clue what's going to happen. At any time they could come to my home and deport me and my family"

“I have no clue what’s going to happen,” he told IRIN. “At any time they could come to my home and deport me and my family.”

Corey Johnson, an advocacy officer with the Scalabrini Centre, said that the majority of Angolan refugees who had applied for passports were in the same situation, but that the Department of Home Affairs has said it will not extend the window. 

At a 31 August meeting at the Cape Town Refugee Office between deputy home affairs minister Fatima Chohan and a group of Angolan refugees, Chohan reportedly told the refugees that her department would not be extending any statuses, and that once their passports arrived, they would be required to leave South Africa within two weeks and apply for immigration permits at the South African embassy in Angola. She warned that those who did not comply could be repatriated and denied re-entry into South Africa.

“Concerns were raised by various people that three months probably wasn’t going to be long enough [for the process]. The whole time, [the Department of Home Affairs] said no one would be left undocumented, but here we are,” said Johnson. “It’s been a total about-face on the cessation process and the effects of it are quite severe.” 

He added that Scalabrini had already received reports of affected refugees losing their jobs, having problems accessing their bank accounts and being scared to leave their homes due to their lack of documentation.

Lack of communication

 Pedro still has his job but said that he would most likely lose it if he had to return to Angola to apply for permits for himself and his wife and children, a process that could take months with no guarantee of the outcome.

“Basically, there’s a lack of communication and a lack of commitment between the three parties - UNHCR, the Angolan government and Home Affairs,” he said. “We feel very disappointed.”

At a meeting between Home Affairs, the Angolan consulate and UNHCR that took place on 6 September, UNHCR advocated for the Angolan government to speed up the issuing of passports and for the South African government to give refugees awaiting their passports or decisions on exemption applications some kind of transitional status that would not leave them undocumented. 

“The government is considering these options and how they could be adopted within the existing legal frameworks,” said UNHCR spokesperson Tina Ghelli. 

Repeated efforts by IRIN to get the Department of Home Affairs to comment on the issue were unsuccessful.

 

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