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Lifting Sudan’s sanctions is prerequisite to halt human trafficking- militia leader

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October 8, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - The commander Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) has said that his forces will put an end to the anti-human trafficking operations and fight against extremists, if the international community lifts economic sanctions on the east African country.

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

Washington admitted recently Sudan’s cooperation in the anti-terrorism war but underlined that it wouldn’t remove Sudan from the list of states sponsor of terrorism or left economic sanctions, before the end of armed conflicts in Darfur region and Blue Nile and South Kordofan states.

RSF Commander Mohamed Hamdan Dagolo, commonly known as “Hametti”, said that his forces struggle to thwart human trafficking, pointing that these efforts serve the interest of international community.

In statement to Sudanese News Agency (SUNA) on Saturday, Hemeti called for the lifting of "unjust" economic embargo on Sudan, pointing that "if the international community responded to the demands of the Sudanese people, the RSF are ready to thwart the human trafficking operations and eradicate extremists.

He added that the RSF fighters work to clear Sudan’s border with Egypt, Libya and Chad from the remnants of rebel groups which are now involved in people and gold smuggling.

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.

The commander stressed that RSF has managed to haunt the armed groups and forced them to cross into the Libyan territory, pointing out that his forces made great efforts to combat these movements and fight human trafficking in spite of the long border between Sudan, Egypt and Libyan.

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.

The European Parliament demanded on Thursday European External Action Service to monitor closely the EU’s development aid to Sudan to prevent any direct or indirect support to the local militias

Hemeti asserted the excellence of relations between Sudan and Chad describing it as "strong historical eternal". He further praised the efforts of the joint force to secure the common border.

(ST)

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