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Rome Reports

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The forgotten refugees: African asylum-seekers in Egypt

The eyes of the world are set on refugees that have to flee the war in Syria, but the migration crisis that concerns so many world leaders, including Pope Francis, goes far beyond that.  Media coverage often overlooks the light of African refugees. In Egypt, there are 190,000 asylum-seekers and refugees. One third of them is from Africa.  Sumaya is from South Sudan. War in her country has forced her to migrate. Her husband is in Italy, and she tried to join him by crossing the Mediterranean by boat. Her boat, carrying 500 refugees, sank during the trip. 300 people died.  SUMAYA Sudanese asylum-seeker in Egypt "I cannot forget the people dying in front of my eyes. Dying. They tried to catch me, and try to take me and they died. And the body come, I am swimming and the dead body is swimming with me. I cannot forget this all my life.â? She lost her papers in the shipwreck, and now she has been stuck in Cairo for two years, trying to get her papers in order.  SUMAYA Sudanese asylum-seeker in Egypt "There is no money, there is no one, there is no house, no husband, no family, no baby. I cannot wait here.â? Sumaya's UNHCR refugee application is painfully long. Her husband pleads for her to wait, but the sea still beckons, and Sumaya says that she might try to make the crossing once more.   AG Unifeed/RR -SV -PR Up:FV