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Sudan to intensify campaigns against human trafficking and illicit weapons

Migrants crossing the Sahara desert into Libya ride on the back of a pickup truck outside Agadez, Niger, May 9, 2016. (REUTERS/Joe Penney)
August 14, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The Disarmament Higher Committee (DHC) said it would launch intensive campaigns during the next period to combat crimes relating to illicit weapons and human trafficking.

Sudan’s Vice-President Hassabo Abdel-Rahaman on Monday chaired a joint meeting of the DHC and the Anti-Drugs and Human Trafficking Commissions.

In press statements following the meeting, DHC rapporteur Ahmed Abdallah said the coming period would witness intensive campaigns to combat crimes relating to illicit arms and human trafficking.

He added the meeting also discussed ongoing efforts to combat negative phenomena pertaining to arms smuggling, illegal drugs and smuggling of foodstuff at Butana Plain area which includes six states.

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.

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

Abdallah pointed out that the DHC has exerted large efforts to collect the illicit arms, saying the campaign achieved a number of goals including 75% decline in crime rate in the various states particularly Darfur region.

According to Abdallah, the disarmament campaign also contributed to decreasing tribal conflicts as well as increasing cultivated lands due to a large improvement in the security situation.

In August 2017, the Sudanese authorities launched a six-month disarmament campaign to eliminate illegal weapons in the conflict-affected areas in Sudan, particularly in Darfur region.

The Sudanese authorities say the spread of weapons among the rival tribes in the region is one of the main causes of Darfur’s instability.

The official statements say 30,000 arms have been collected in the five states of Darfur region during the voluntary process which started in August, while official figures estimate at 700,000 the number of illegal weapons in Darfur.

(ST)