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1.5 million foreigners seek to travel to Europe: Sudanese official

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Undated picture for East African migrants rescued by the charity group Migrant Offshore Aid Station (Photo MOAS)

February 25, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s interior ministry Saturday estimated that around one million and a half foreigners who entered illegally from neighbouring countries are currently in Sudan seeking to travel to Europe and Israel.

The head of the directorate of foreigners at the Sudanese interior ministry, Gen. Yassin Mohamed El-Hassan said that the number of undocumented foreigners has reached one million five hundred thousand people who crossed the border illegally from Eritrea and Ethiopia.

The Sudanese official who was speaking at a symposium on the foreign presence in Khartoum pointed that this category of migrants do not want to settle in the country but see Sudan as a way station, not a final destination.

The majority of illegal immigrants do not want to settle in Sudan because they want to cross into Libya and from there to Europe across the Mediterranean Sea or to Israel, he said.

However, in order to control their movement inside the country, the authorities deliver them identity document, the Sudanese official added.

He further said many of them receive remittances from abroad to help them to undertake the journey, adding they noticed that many who fail in their attempt leave the Sudan and return to their homeland.

Sudan is identified as a source of migrants to Europe and a transit country for migrants from Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia.

Many of Sudanese, particularly from Darfur region who used to work in Libya in the past, consider it now as a station into Europe. Sudanese from the centre and the northern parts travel to the Gulf countries.

The European Union signed several agreements with the Sudan to control and illegal migration and human trafficking.

(ST)

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