The agriculture minister of South Sudan told Arutz Sheva Tuesday that Israel should keep Sudanese infiltrators for “humanitarian reasons.”

Visiting the international Agritech Exposition in Tel Aviv Tuesday, Minister Betty Ogwar said, “When Israel talks about Sudanese, it is talking about all of them – from Sudan and South Sudan. Israel should support all of the Sudanese. They came because they were afraid and came for a better life.”

Tens of thousands of Sudanese have infiltrated Israel but few have been classified as refugees, and the Israeli government has taken moves to send back a large number. Israeli nationalists have expressed concerns that keeping them in Israel, especially those who bore children here, adds to the growing threat of a non-Jewish demographic explosion. They also cite a high crime rate among the Sudanese, almost all of whom are Muslims.

The main focus of the visit of Ogwar and her aides was to seek help from Israel for agriculture. Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon and Ogwar decided to advance the establishment of an agricultural village in South Sudan with Israeli technology. The village is to serve as a model for similar farms in the new country.

Ogwar pointed out that South Sudan became independent only nine months ago, and that Khartoum still is bombing South Sudan.

“I am very proud we can call ourselves a country, and we are happy to have gotten rid of slavery, but the war is not finished,” she told Arutz Sheva.