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139 victims of human trafficking freed in Kassala as governor calls to extend emergency order

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RSF fighters deployed in Kassala State on Thursday 4 January 2018 (ST Photo)

July 15, 2018 (KASSALA/KHARTOUM) - Governor of Sudan’s eastern state of Kassala Adam Jama’a on Sunday said police has freed 139 victims of human trafficking calling on legislators to extend the state of emergency.

Last December, the Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir issued a decree imposing a six-month state of emergency in North Kordofan and Kassala states.

The parliament on Monday would hold an extraordinary session to consider an extension of the emergency order at both states.

During his visit to investigation police department on Sunday, Jama’a said the extension of the state of emergency aims at combating human trafficking and smuggling of goods.

He called on international organization working on combating human trafficking to support efforts of his state, pointing to a dangerous human trafficking gang that still operates in Kassala.

The governor demanded the investigation police to arrest members of that gang, announcing significant monetary rewards for capturing those human traffickers.

The Sudanese army last May arrested human traffickers holding 231 people in Gaili Forest, on the eastern plains of Butana, Gedaref State.

Last March, the Sudanese police arrested human traffickers holding 177 victims including 27 women in the capital Khartoum.

Also, a joint police force in Kassala last December managed to free 95 victims of human trafficking following an exchange of fire with the perpetrators.

Between 1 and 31 January 2018, 1,184 persons arrived in Italy by sea, representing 28% of the illegal migrants who arrived during the first month of this year. They all crossed the Mediterranean from Libya.

During the same period, 126 Sudanese crossed to Italy, according to the UNHCR.

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.

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.

Also, in 2014, Khartoum hosted a conference on human trafficking in the Horn of Africa, organised by the African Union (AU), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Sudanese government.

The East African nation has also forged a strategic partnership with several European countries and the EU to combat illegal migration and human trafficking.

(ST)

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