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No Celebration for South Sudanese Immigrants

South Sudan is marking the first anniversary of its independence on Monday, but members of the Sudanese community in Israel seem to be in no mood to celebrate.

Natalina, 46, a single mother of three, was rushing about in the heat in Tel Aviv on Sunday between her former employer and aid agency offices, in an effort to get money which she said her employer owes her.

“I’m going home to South Sudan at the beginning of next month and I’m trying to fight for my salary, which my Israeli employer doesn’t want to pay,” she said, in despair.

“South Sudan will be celebrating its first year of independence on Tuesday but I don’t feel like I have any strength to celebrate,” she said. “We’re all broken: A lot of our friends have been expelled, everyone is running after employers who don’t pay and disappear. Who’s in the mood to celebrate independence?”

Natalina fled Sudan 20 years ago. She spent 15 years in Egypt and five years ago escaped to Israel, believing that her refugee status would be recognized here.

For more, go to Haaretz.com

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