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Sudan gov’t militia captures 154 illegal migrants on Libyan border

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An image from a video footage by Sudan TV shows Sudanese and foreign illegal migrants arrested by the RSF in a remote area of North Darfur heading to Libya on 8 September 2018 (ST photo)
September 8, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The Rapid Support Forces (RSF) said it has arrested 154 illegal migrants on the border triangle among Sudan, Libya and Egypt disclosing they belong to terrorist groups and negative movements.

RSF director of guidance and services Murtada Osman Abu al-Gasim on Saturday said the illegal migrants have been transferred to an RSF camp in Al-Gaili area, north of Khartoum.

However, he didn’t elaborate on the identity of the illegal migrants, saying some amongst them are Sudanese and Arab nationals.

“This group [of illegal migrants] has travelled from Al-Malha area in North Darfur and was heading to Libya. Most of them are between the ages of 22 to 26 years. The initial investigations points to their affiliation with terrorist organizations and negative movements,” he added.

Abu al-Gasim pointed out that the RSF has busted 8 human trafficking operations recently, saying his militiamen would continue to protect the borders of the country.

In an interview with Sudan’s national TV Last week, RSF commander Mohamed Hamdan Daglo (aka Hametti) said his militia has stopped its operations against illegal migrants and human trafficking gangs because the international community didn’t recognise their efforts.

But Vice-President Hassabo Abdel-Rahman was quick to send a different message stressing Sudan’s commitment to combat human trafficking and cooperate with the international community in this regard.

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.

SUDANESE-FRENCH COOPERATION ON ANTI-HUMAN TRAFFICKING EFFORTS

Meanwhile, the French Ambassador to Sudan Emmanuelle Blatmann pointed to ongoing cooperation and coordination between Khartoum and Paris to combat human trafficking.

She praised the positive steps taken by Sudan to fight against human trafficking, saying the European Union is keen to combat this phenomenon in genuine cooperation with the regional and international community.

The semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC) has quoted Blatman as saying France would cooperate with the EU to fight against all forms of organized crime particularly human trafficking.

The French envoy pointed out that her country seeks to enhance partnerships with friendly countries to end the phenomenon.

It is noteworthy that Sudan has forged a strategic partnership with several European countries and the EU to combat illegal migration and human trafficking.

In April 2016, the EU officially allocated Sudan €100 million to improve the living conditions for refugees, help Sudanese returnees to reintegrate back into society, and to improve security at the border.

Also, Sudan benefits from additional funding under the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, in particular from a €40 million programme to better manage migration in the region.

(ST)

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