The challenges of African-asylum seekers in Israel who are willingly deported to Uganda and Rwanda after arriving in those East African countries may be far from over as new allegations show that the visas issued by Israel, supposedly on behalf of Uganda are fake.
A report by local media Haaretz said the state presented those allegedly fake documents to the High Court of Justice in defence of its plan to deport the migrants in Israel to third-party countries.
But when Ugandan immigration officials were shown the document, they said it was “a complete fraud.”
More about this
According to the Population and Immigration Authority, the document was a visa issued by the Ugandan government.
The Authority told Haaretz that Israel supplies the migrants who voluntarily leave the country with the document because there is no official Ugandan representative in Israel.
But the document is not signed by any official and bears only an electronic signature that is not even legible, Haaretz reports after being shown a sample of the document.
— Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) April 13, 2018
The report further indicates that previous versions of the document, issued in 2014, were simply signed with the first name “George.”
The said document is also headed, “Arrival to Uganda – Visa Confirmation.”
It states that upon arrival at Entebbe airport in Uganda, a proper entry visa will be issued for the passenger along with an identity card.
But Robert Kanuma, the principal immigration officer in charge of Entebbe airport in Uganda said that this not true.
“No one wrote this document, it’s fake, totally fake,” Kanuma told Haaretz.
It is reported that the government plans to use this visa document to show the court it has a deportation plan and that Uganda has agreed to accept the refugees.
Meanwhile, reports from Reuters news agency say that Uganda is now considering a request from Israel to take in 500 migrants from Eritrea and Sudan.
This is the first time the country has admitted that it is in talks over such a deal, after consistent denials.
About 4,000 migrants, mainly from Sudan and Eritrea have since 2013 left Israel for Rwanda and Uganda under a voluntary program but Israel hopes to expel about 40,000 more.
An Israeli court last month, however, suspended the move following a legal challenge instituted by a group of migrants from Eritrea and Sudan.