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A refugee, stranded in the transit area

After seven years in Israel is reported Eissa Muhammad. Because it no longer wants to have his home country of Niger, he is now stuck for six months in the airport of Addis Ababa.

By Bernd Dörries, Addis Ababa Bernd Dörries

Bernd Dörries was born in 1974 in Stuttgart, Germany and has studied political science in Tübingen, Berlin and New York. Traineeship at the SZ with stops in Düsseldorf, Munich and Berlin. From 2004 onwards, a correspondent for Baden-Württemberg in Stuttgart, starting in 2010, NRW correspondent in Düsseldorf. Since February of 2017, Africa correspondent, based in Cape town.

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Eissa Muhammad sitting in a Lounge of Ethiopian Airlines at the airport of Addis Ababa, in which you can only get into it if you have enough miles on the frequent flyer account or a Ticket for the Business Class. Muhamad is not flown for five months, he is the opposite of a frequent flyer, as he is otherwise, in this Lounge to be found. Since November Muhamad stuck on the airport in the Ethiopian capital. His last homeland, Israel has not deported to his native country of Niger takes him back. He is not allowed to leave the transit area of the airport.

"The employees of the Airlines are very nice, they give me tea and something to eat," says Muhamad. "But otherwise, life here is terrible." Can he sleep in a small corner of the airport mosque, which is nothing more than a stuffy room next to the toilets. Sometimes travelers bring him a few clothes or money, so he can charge his cell phone. Fresh air he has breathed for many weeks. "I'm treated like a Criminal, I'm just a man," says Muhamad. "I have a right to a normal life."

24 years old, he is old, comes from Niger, the country, which is evidenced by the wealth statistics of the United Nations. Because he saw in the home no future for themselves, Muhamad age of 16 to Israel. Smugglers took him across the desert, through Libya and Egypt, from there we went by foot to Israel. For seven years he lived there, it was a hard time, he toiled in Hotels, and a factory - but it was much better than in Niger. In November 2018, he was arrested in Israel, came for several weeks in prison, the authorities issued him an exit document, and put him on a plane to Niger. There he was left, but to the country, because the border officials doubt the authenticity of the Israeli document. Also a photocopy of the original passport, you are not convinced. So told it to Muhammad, at least.

They sent him back to Israel, where he was allowed into the country and back to the transfer point Addis Ababa flown. There he had to stay, because now the Israeli travel document had expired. He's stuck, with no hope of a change.

The Israeli authorities say they are for Muhamad. Human rights organizations criticized the handling of the country with refugees. "Eissa Muhamads experiences a sad mirror image of the illegal deportation policy of Israel. Refugees are defined by the law as invaders. The authorities make it practically impossible to apply for asylum, which may be attributed to the ethnic nationalism in Israel," says the aid organization Medico International.

Similar fates have far more attention than the case of Eissa Muhammad. The Syrian Hassan al-Kontar was arriving after a few months in the transit zone of the airport of Kuala Lumpur to become a celebrity and was allowed in November to Canada. For Eissa Muhamad hardly anyone is interested in on Twitter, although he calls again and again, desperate for help. Of the similar fates of the skin color sets him apart. "I'll call in the case of refugee organizations, the UN and others, never someone to answer the phone," he says.

Ethiopia has offered to him, in the meantime, asylum, then he could leave the airport. This is very generous, says Muhamad. "But I don't speak the language, and there are already so many refugees here that I will find no work, no future." A few days ago was stolen from him in the airport, his bag, with almost all of what he still possessed. He's bad, he writes on Twitter. "I don't know what I should do."

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