April 30, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) announced on Wednesday that nine people had died while trying to cross the border to Libya, while another 319 were rescued.
- Spokesperson for the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) Colonel al-Sawarmi Khalid Sa’ad (Photo: Ashraf Ahazly/AFP/Getty Images)
SAF’s spokesperson, Colonel al-Sawarmi Khaled Saad, disclosed on Wednesday that joint Sudanese-Libyan forces had rescued the migrants after they became stranded in the desert on the border between the two countries, noting their miserable condition.
He said the survivors were grouped at Kreb al-Tom station, emphasising that they were given the necessary assistance and were being transferred to Dongola, the capital of North state, where they would be handed over to the relevant authorities.
A Sudanese foreign ministry official later told the state news agency that human traffickers had abandoned the migrants in the desert.
Sudan and Libya have established in November 2013 a joint force to control the borders between the two countries.
The Sudanese government has continued to warn Sudanese citizens wishing to travel to Libya against illegal immigration and human traffickers, underscoring the enormous risks faced by illegal immigrants, including getting lost in the desert which has resulted in many dying of thirst.
Last June, Libyan guards killed a dozen Sudanese migrants who had illegally crossed the border.