A delegation consisting of four senior officials from South Sudan's Foreign Ministry and immigration authority arrived in Israel overnight Thursday to oversee the deportation of hundreds of migrants back to the new African country.
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During the snap visit, the officials are scheduled to meet with Interior Minister Eli Yishai and Israeli Foreign Ministry officials. They are also expected to meet with South Sudanese migrants.
The head of the delegation told Ynet South Sudan wants all of the refugees who are living in Israel to return home, but in a dignified manner.
'Migrants need more time' (Photo: Yair Sagi)
According to him, images of handcuffed South Sudanese (migrants) in police squad cars have reached Juba (South Sudan's capital).
The head of the delegation said he plans to ask the Israeli government to give the migrants two months to prepare before they leave the country voluntarily.
The South Sudanese migrants have been living in Israel for many years and cannot get organized in just a few days, he argued.
A leader of the South Sudanese community in Israel said the officials from his home country have expressed their indignation at the manner in which Israel is organizing the migrants' deportation.
The delegation is expected to head back to South Sudan on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Population and Immigration Authority said 270 South Sudanese migrants have been detained since the deportation campaign kicked off a few days ago. Officials said another 300 migrants have signed voluntary departure forms.