Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Sudanese refugee gangs in Australia

Lincoln Wright:

AUSTRALIA is set to drastically reduce its Sudanese refugee program this year.

With growing community concern about the behaviour of the refugees, Federal Cabinet will soon consider a proposal from Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews to reduce the intake from Horn of Africa nations.

Australia's humanitarian program has allowed thousands of Sudanese refugees to come to Australia in recent years.

But there are growing doubts about the wisdom of the decision, especially with the rise of gangs of Sudanese youths and drunk drivers.

There are about 18,000 Sudanese in Victoria, with many traumatised by their experience of civil war -- and the challenge of living in a Western society.

A Sunday Herald Sun survey of 400 cases at magistrates' courts across Melbourne found 14 per cent of offenders came from the Horn of Africa and the Middle East -- many of them refugees -- about 20 times the representative proportion of the population.

"Australia has one of the most generous humanitarian resettlement programs in the world at 13,000 a year," Mr Andrews said yesterday.

"But immigration is a process, not an event.

"Successful immigration requires integration into the broader community."

A high-profile court case this week highlighted the crime spree of a Sudanese man, Hakeem Hakeem, 21, who raped two teenage girls and an elderly women in a drunken, drug-fuelled episode. He was sentenced to 24 years in jail.

Hakeem had been in Australia for only one month before committing the crimes.

Rapist jailed for 24 years

Our Sudanese refugees pose a question

Can we send them back yet?

A Sudanese refugee raped a 16-year-old girl four times then forced the girl's friend to rape her three times


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