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Germany offers €12m for Sudan’s anti-illegal immigration projects

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December 2, 2015 (KHARTOUM) - The Government of Germany has earmarked 12 million Euros for projects aimed at stemming illegal immigration of Africans across Sudan to Germany.

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Members of the Maltese armed forces toss bottles of water to a group of around 180 illegal immigrants after their vessel ran into engine trouble, off the coast of Malta on September 25, 2005 (Photo Reuters/Darrin Zammit Lupi)

The German international aid agency Wednesday signed an agreement to this effect with the Sudanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development(IGAD) , an East African grouping that seeks to develop and maintain peace in the African Horn Region.

Implementation of the plan will begin with a a 2-million -Euro project in the City of Kasala , Eastern Sudan, widely known as a crossing point for refugees escaping from neighbouring Eritrea, in particular.

The German agency’s coordinator for East Africa Ralf Mathus said during the related talks, held at the premises of the Sudanese Foreign Affairs Ministry here, that his country, with this project, was resuming its training and technical cooperation with Sudan which was stalled for 20 years .

He disclosed that his country now hosts 12 million refugees , one million of them had crossed through Sudan.

“Germany will not let Sudan face the burden of refugees all by itself and will continue to support projects aimed at curbing the asylum problem,’’ he said.

He complained that the vast number of refugees living in Germany now poses an internal security hazard in his country.

“The asylum problem is a big challenge for our country,’’ he said, urging the other European countries to do the best they can to stem it.

“The refugee problem needs thorough examination , particularly if we consider the economic and security problems this vast number of refugees poses on the Continent,’’ he further suggested.

He said concern with development in the countries of origin is sure to reduce immigration and asylum , expressing the hope that the proposed projects , that seek to provide food security and training for refugees , could realize their aspired goals.

For his part, Sudan’s Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Abdulghani al-Naeem has welcomed the German overture.’’ The talks we held with the German side constitute a good sign for joint cooperation between our two countries,’’ he said .

“ Sudan’s borders are very long and open for the influx of refugees and we need due support and backing to meet the inflow of asylum seekers,’’ he said.

“Projects for food security, desert control and vocational training will be launched in the states of Kasala, South Kordufan , the Blue Nile and Darfur,’’ he further announced.
He noted that “the recent successive visits to Sudan by European officials are a recognition of the crucial role Sudan can play in the effort for curbing the immigration
problem ,’’ he said.

“Sudan can help in this endeavour, given the creation of development projects,’’ he added.

IGAD Executive Director Mahjoub al-Mua’allim said his organisation was adopting this development initiative out of its concern with the region’s food security and the refugee problem.

The IGAD groups together each of Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti , Somalia, Eritrea, Southern Sudan, Uganda and Kenya.

(ST)

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