Further arrests as Sudanese police crack down on irregular migration

Sudanese security forces intercepted four smugglers and 57 irregular migrants on 10 December 2018 as they prepared to cross the border with Libya. It is part of their continued efforts to curb irregular migration and human trafficking.

The police stormed a house in the East Nile locality, where the smugglers were hiding the migrants, according to Sudan Media Centre (SMC), a local media outlet stationed in Khartoum. The SMC report also revealed that legal action against the traffickers is being taken and that another three traffickers who escaped arrest are being hunted.

A large number of people from Eritrea and Ethiopia seek to migrate irregularly to and from Sudan each year, often on route to Libya where they hope to board a boat to cross the Mediterranean into Europe. The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, reported that more than 10,000 Eritreans have fled from Eritrea into Ethiopia since the border between the two countries was reopened in September.

The human trafficking gangs which operate along this migratory route often exploit the vulnerability of migrants. They charge them large amounts of money to assist them on their perilous journeys. In many cases, migrants face abuse, extortion and kidnap at the hands of smugglers and other criminal groups.

However, the Sudanese government is cracking down on human trafficking and irregular migration. They have introduced stricter laws against human trafficking, forged partnerships with Europe, and worked on border security arrangements with neighbouring countries like Ethiopia.

To disrupt the operations of traffickers in the country, the Sudanese security forces are performing regular roundups, especially in major cities like Khartoum, Omdurman, Kassala and Port Sudan. In one such operation, on 18 November 2018, the police rescued a group of 84 Eritrean migrants who were kidnapped by human traffickers in the state of Kassala.

TMP – 24/12/2018

Photo: Sudan Tribune. African irregular migrants crossing the Sudan-Libya border.

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