First of all, we send our gratitude to the UNHCR management team, all the NGOs and to our host, The TUNISIAN GOVERNMENT, for their patience and concern over our plight all the way from Libya.
We fled Libya; then a war troubled zone where most of us had to live for years and were engaged into many different types of life building activities, unfortunately, things turned the other way round and now we find ourselves bewildered at The Libya/Tunisia border for over one year today without any solution. The living condition in the desert is very hard on us, and has turned on worst ever since we were made to know that they have no further solution to our crisis. The climatic weather conditions there is horrible.
For those of us given a final rejection in the camp we have access to nothing apart from the poor food we receive. For five months now we haven’t received any hygiene kits and the worse of it all is that without the refugee certificate they don’t give us any medical attention.
The interview procedure has placed so much doubt in our minds; too many complicated mistakes were made during and after the interview processes.
The appeal letters we filled in were not properly studied to see if we are qualified for the UNHCR protection or not. The mechanism in place is perfect but the management is poor.
We faced cases of very incompetent translators and also a general decision passed on the files of some communities, regardless of their individual fears they face back at home. Most of the West Africans involved were rejected by their countries of origin.
Wednesday September 12 2011 the Nigerian ambassador to Tunisia visited the camp, he held a meeting with the protection team and reviewed most of the case files with the UNHCR, he later called on all the Nigerians at the camp and made us to understand that we are all liars and the government will open us a case file upon our return to Nigeria. After the visit we all received the final rejection letters from the UNHCR, this is our plight.
Most of these rejected cases fall under political and religious displacements in our regional place of birth. Our appeal is that the last three options given by the UNHCR to the rejected cases are all at the extreme, we find no option that march our case.
Return to country of origin; if we found it safe returning, none of us would have wasted one full year in the desert.
To go back to Libya; the condition in Libya for now is tough and not safe.
We are already under the Tunisian immigrations laws, and can’t do anything by ourselves until we have solicitors in place and a reason for staying here in Tunisia.
We are appealing for a review of our files by the UNHCR protection Team. The number of refugees that were issued the final rejection is 298 persons and this complaint is coming from them all. We need the intervention of the international committee.
Among the communities rejected are the Ivorian, Liberians, Sierra Leoneans, Tchadians and Sudanese that has earlier complained of bad translators chosen from among their rivals.
This report was written in agreements,after a meeting with all the rejected cases.