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Twelve Sudanese migrants killed by Libyan border guards

June 2, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – Libyan guards killed a dozen Sudanese migrants who illegally crossed the borders prompting Khartoum to announce it will summon the Libyan charge d’affaires to demand an investigation into the incident.

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Sudanese migrants wait to get their visas at The Secretariat for Sudanese Working Abroad in Khartoum, May 13, 2013 (REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)

Sudan’s foreign ministry said on Sunday that seven of the victims have been identified while its consulate in Libya’s Al-Kufra town is working on identifying the remaining corpses who had no ID’s on them.

Five of the illegal Sudanese migrants were transferred to a hospital in A-Kufra for treatment, the ministry added.

Sudan’s embassy in Tripoli and the Consulate General in al-Kufra had already contacted the Libyan authorities and demanded clarification on the circumstances surrounding the incident.

The foreign ministry said it received information based on a story told by a group of survivors who affirmed that some 70-80 illegal immigrants left Omdurman on May 6 aboard Land Cruiser vehicles headed to Libya where they got inside smugglers’ cars to cross the borders.

However, they ended up being chased by border guards inside Libyan territory before one car flipped killing and injuring several passengers.

Sudan’s foreign ministry reiterated its warning to Sudanese citizens wishing to travel to Libya against illegal immigration and human traffickers.

It also noted that Sudanese-Libyan border is closed upon a decision made by Libyan ministry of defense making it a military operations area, stressing the enormous risks faced by illegal immigrants including getting lost in the desert which led to many deaths of thirst in the past.

The department of consulates and expatriates at the foreign ministry pointed to the growing infiltration incidences by young Sudanese into Libya across the Chadian territory adding that Ndjamena considers illegal infiltrators as rebels .

Last December, the Libyan parliament voted to seal the country’s borders with Sudan, Niger, Chad and Algeria citing concerns over security.

The decision also declared the provinces of Ghadames, Ghat, Obari, Al-Shati, Sebha, Murzuq and Al-Kufra as closed military regions subject to “extraordinary measures”.

(ST)