Leaders of more than 1,000 Sudanese
refugees who have been camping in a Cairo
park for six weeks said Sunday they were starting a hunger strike in protest against the United Nations
, accusing the world body of failing to help them.
"We want the UNHCR to look into our problems," said Bahr-Edin Adam, 28, a refugee from the war-torn Darfur region of west Sudan. "No UNHCR representative met us, and we don't want to go back to Sudan because the Sudanese government is not interested in us."
In fact, representatives of the UN High Commission for Refugees have met leaders of the protesters, who are crammed into a 400 square meter (480 square yard) park between a main road and a side street in the fashionable Mohandiseen district of Cairo.
The UNHCR said in a statement last month that a large number of the refugees were economic migrants who did not qualify for political asylum and resettlement in a third country. Adam denied this.