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Quelle: The Guardian | 08.12.2016

Six weeks after the Calais migrant camp was demolished, unaccompanied minors scattered around France are still waiting to hear of their fate from the Home Office. Lisa O’Carroll, Mat Heywood and John Domokos meet one young refugee who fled death in Darfur desperate to be reunited with his radiographer brother in Liverpool

The Guardian | 08.12.2016

Sudanese refugee in UK voices fears for brother stranded in France

Mohamed Adam Hamad Ahamed yet to hear whether Moubrak will be able to join him, five weeks after Calais camp closed

A Sudanese radiographer living in Liverpool after fleeing Darfur has made an emotional plea to the government to be reunited with his teenage brother, who remains stranded in France five weeks after the Calais migrant camp was demolished.

Mohamed Adam Hamad Ahamed said he was becoming increasingly anxious about his 17-year-old sibling Moubrak’s mental state. Moubrak is is one of more than 1,500 unaccompanied minors dispersed throughout France in temporary accommodation who have yet to find out whether they will be accepted into the UK.

Ahamed’s hopes of seeing his brother for the first time in two years were raised when he received a phone call from a Home Office official in mid-October. But he has not heard anything since.

“When [Moubrak] calls me, always he is crying,” Ahamed said. “I do not know what is going on. I can’t tell him, because I have not heard anything. The Home Office call came from a withheld number and I do not know who to call to find out what is happening.”

Ahamed, 37, was told his brother could be eligible for a fast-track transfer to the UK under an EU law that allows unaccompanied minors to make asylum applications in another country if they have family there.

Everything appeared in place after a follow-up visit from a social worker from Liverpool city council to verify there was a bed at Ahamed’s home.

Five weeks on, he fears his brother will risk his life by returning to Calais and trying to jump on to a lorry. Moubrak told him he had been told by someone in authority that he was too tall to be 17, though he has documentary evidence to show he was born on 12 May 1999.

Ahamed was given asylum in the UK two years ago and is unlikely ever to be in a position to return to Darfur. “This situation is very, very bad in Sudan. People know about Syria, but people forget about Darfur,” he said. “There are still problems there, it is very bad, people being killed, areas where journalists cannot go. You cannot talk, you cannot say anything about this situation, no free talk, especially in Darfur. The government kill the black people and they give guns to other tribes to kill black people.”

Ahamed is the eldest brother of a family of eight. They were moved to the Hesahesa displaced people camp in Zahinge after their home town was torched by the Janjaweed militia. Their mother was killed in an air raid.

Government security forces threatened to kill Ahamed after he vocally objected to a decision to expel all foreign aid organisations from the camp. He escaped, and soon afterwards problems began for Moubark. “They said they would kill him if he didn’t tell them where I was,” Ahamed said.

Moubark escaped too and set off on a treacherous journey involving people smugglers to try to join his brother in the UK.

He found his way to the Calais camp, and disappeared during the clearance week. He was detained by the police and given sanctuary at a refuge is St Omer that deals with unaccompanied minors.

“I want to leave, I can’t stay here,” Moubrak said. “In St Omer, I do not know what is happening.”

Ahamed said: “My message to the Home Office is: I want my brother to join me here. He is only 17 years old. I want to be able to assure him that he can come. He is scared there.”

Charities say the transfer of unaccompanied minors to the UK has virtually ground to a halt since the Calais camp was cleared, despite indications from the government in October that it would endeavour to take half of the young people from the camp, then estimated to total 1,300.

Refugee Youth Service said it had lost contact with a third of the children it had been monitoring in the camp, and blamed a lack of information about their options.

“This continued uncertainty and confusion escalates the children’s negative feelings of hopelessness and self-worth,” said Karen Moynihan, a protection officer with the group.

The Ahamed brothers are not the only relatives being kept in the dark. At a centre in Cayeux-sur-Mer, in northern France, 14-year-old Jamshid Jan is also waiting for news.

Jamshid fled Afghanistan 18 months ago. “He disappeared for six months and we didn’t know where he was,” said his cousin Amruddin, 20, who works in London and drove to the Calais camp in October after discovering via Facebook that he was there.

Jamshid stayed at the Calais camp for six months. “It felt like six years,” he said. He was threatened by older men and was at risk of people trafficking with no protective adult to care for him.

“It is a better life here [in Cayeux-sur-Mer], but I do not know how long I will be here. I have been here for three weeks now and have no information,” he said.

Amruddin came to the UK two years ago and now has indefinite leave to remain in the country. He says he will look after Jamshid and has made arrangements at his home to take him in. “He is my responsibility now. We want him with his, because we will be happy. He needs us.” But he said he had not heard from the Home Office.

In a statement, the Home Office said it could not comment on individual cases. It said it had made “significant progress in improving and speeding up the existing processes since the beginning of the year” but added that “the primary responsibility for unaccompanied children in France lies with the French authorities.”

Rabbi Janet Darley, the leader of Citizens UK, called on government to deliver on its promise. “We call on Amber Rudd [the home secretary] to keep her word and transfer half the children from Calais; there is no reason why this cannot happen before Christmas,” she said.

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