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Sudan arrests 13 human traffickers on Libyan border

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A RSF member stands guard near illegal migrants caught in a remote desert area en route to Libya, on January 8, 2017 (Photo Reuters)
September 25, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The Rapid Support Forces (RSF) said on Wednesday it has arrested 13 human traffickers from various nationalities and 120 illegal migrants on the Libyan border.

Following the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s 40-year-rule in 2011, Libya has slid into chaos and has become the most important transit country for illegal migrants to Europe.

"The Rapid Support Forces has managed to seize 18 four-wheel drive vehicles smuggling illegal migrants to Libya," said a statement issued by the RSF media office.

"RSF has arrested 120 illegal migrants on the border with Libya, including 54 Sudanese, 36 Ethiopian, 6 Chadians and 24 Libyan," the statement further added.

The RSF announced the arrest of 13 human traffickers, including five Libyan and eight Sudanese, who are active in human trafficking and smuggling of migrants.

The paramilitary force said they managed to release nine Sudanese families held hostage by foreign human traffickers, to demand a ransom in exchange for their release according to the statement seen by the Sudan Tribune.

Initially, Sudan formed the RSF to fight the armed groups in Darfur and the Two Areas, however, the end of rebel attacks and commitment of the warring parties to a ceasefire, the militiamen joined the regional efforts to fight human trafficking particularly to Libya.

In June 2016, hundreds of RSF elements have been deployed in the remote desert of the Northern State shortly after a complaint by the governor of drug and human trafficking by the criminal networks.

Sudan is considered a country of origin and transit for 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.

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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