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Sudan’s RSF arrests 300 illegal immigrants near Libyan border

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July 4, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese government militia; Rapid Support Force (RSF); on Monday said that they arrested over 300 illegal immigrants heading to Libya across the remote desert of Northern State.

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SRF field commander Mohamed Hamdan (Hametti) speaks in a press conference in Khartoum on Wednesday May 14, 2014 (ST)

Sudan is considered as a country of origin and transit for the illegal migration and human trafficking. Thousands of people from Eritrea and Ethiopia are monthly crossing the border into the Sudanese territories on their way to Europe through Libya or Egypt.

Last June, hundreds of Rapid Support Force elements have been deployed in the Northern State shortly after complaint by the governor of drug and human trafficking by the criminal networks.

RSF Commander, General Mohamed Hamdan Hametti, told the pro-government al-Shrooq TV that his force, which was combing the western desert in the northern state, has arrested over 300 illegal immigrants in Al-Sheverlite area on the Sudanese- Libyan borders.

The combing operations of the desert in the Northern State are going "as planned by the top leadership" Hametti said, adding that "his forces were deployed in all locations to secure and protect the Sudanese economy".

He further said that the RSF troops have closed all the crossing points into Libya in the Northern State.

The commander of 19th Infantry Division of the Sudanese army, General Adil Hassan Humaida, on his part, said that RSF have been deployed in Northern State to comb the western desert in the state and protect borders with Libya.

Northern State governor, Ali al-Awad said that RSF is deployed combat crime, stressing that RSF first mission is mainly humanitarian and to provide security.

Earlier this year, the European Union granted a €100m development package to address the root causes of irregular migration in Sudan. The financial support came after pledge by the Sudanese government to cooperate with Brussels to stop human trafficking to Europe.

In January 2014, the Sudanese parliament approved an anti-human trafficking law which punishes those involved with human trafficking with up to 20 years imprisonment.

(ST)

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