File - Sudanese refugees on hunger strike sit outside the U.N. offices in Beirut, Monday, June 18, 2012. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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Three days later, the refugees say a member of the UNHCR staff called the police to shut down the peaceful protest.The arrest of these four refugees is the latest in a series of incidents that has fostered a toxic relationship between the UNHCR and Sudanese refugees in Lebanon.Sudanese refugees in Lebanon feel that UNHCR staff are hostile toward them and their cases are not prioritized – sometimes completely ignored – due to a racial bias against them. But the U.N. agency maintains that it is doing all that it can to help Sudanese refugees. This incident led to the creation of a group called Anjo, Save the Sudanese Refugees of Lebanon, which dedicated itself to protecting the Sudanese community in Lebanon, and they are active to this day. They meet weekly at a Sudanese restaurant in Jnah to discuss the plight of Sudanese refugees in Lebanon and how they can address other problems within the community. According to their website, the UNHCR has 270 Sudanese refugees registered. Anjo estimates that there are about 900-1,000 Sudanese refugees in Lebanon that have either applied for refugee status, been declined or are registered.
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