Home | News    Wednesday 29 August 2018

28 illegal migrants arrested on Sudan-Libya border: RSF

A RSF member stands guard near illegal migrants caught in a remote desert area en route to Libya, on January 8, 2017 (Photo Reuters)

August 28, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The Rapid Support Forces (RSF) said it has arrested twenty-eight illegal migrants the on border triangle among Libya, Sudan and Egypt on Monday.

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.

In press statements on Tuesday, Director of Guidance and Services Department at the RSF Murtada Osman Abu al-Gasim said the 28 illegal migrants are Sudanese nationals, pointing out that they were heading towards the Libyan territory.

He added human trafficking gangs attempted to sneak the 28 illegal migrants into Libya, saying these are the same gangs that had recently kidnapped Egyptian troops.

Last month, Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) freed five Egyptian troops abducted by Libyan gunmen on the border triangle between Libya, Sudan and Egypt.

Abu al-Gasim also said the RSF continued to carry out its duties in protecting the national borders, stressing their keenness to maintain border security and stability.

He further said the RSF have been deployed on Sudan’s various borders to fight against negative phenomena including arms and illegal drugs smuggling and human trafficking.

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.

The RSF militia, which is widely known as the Janjaweed militias, were originally mobilised by the Sudanese government to quell the insurgency that broke out in Sudan’s western region of Darfur in 2003.

The militia was activated and restructured again in August 2013 under the command of the NISS to fight rebel groups in Darfur region, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states following joint attacks by Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebels in North and South Kordofan in April 2013.

Last year, the Sudanese parliament passed the RSF Act which integrates the
notorious militia in the Sudanese army and provides that its commander
is appointed by the President of the Republic.

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)