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UNHCR Shocked and Saddened by Violence in Cairo

The UN refugee agency, the UNHCR, has expressed “shock and deep sadness” over Friday's violence in Cairo, which left at least 10 Sudanese refugees dead.

Ron Redmond is a spokesman for the agency. From Geneva, he spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua about the Sudanese refugees in Cairo.

“Up to 2,500 Sudanese had been demonstrating in a park in Cairo, which is not too far from the UNHCR office, since September 29th. They’ve primarily been protesting living conditions in Egypt and to demand that they be resettled to third countries. UNHCR throughout this period has been maintaining dialogue with the protesters. We’ve had several mediation efforts, and throughout this process we’ve always emphasized that such situations need to be resolved peacefully. That’s why the High Commissioner Antonio Guterres says he is so deeply shocked and saddened by these tragic events in Cairo early today,” he says.

Mr. Redmond says the UNHCR is not assessing blame in the incident, but adds, “There’s no justification for such violence and loss of life. This is a terrible tragedy.”