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Eastern Sudanese campaign against human trafficking

November 8 - 2015 PORT SUDAN
An Eritrean refugee holds his child at Shagarab refugee camp in Kassala, eastern Sudan (
An Eritrean refugee holds his child at Shagarab refugee camp in Kassala, eastern Sudan (

People living in eastern Sudan continue to complain about the rapid increase in armed robberies, kidnaps and human trafficking in the region. According to a former Red Sea state MP the recently started campaign against human trafficking needs to be enforced.

Hamed Idris, former member of the Red Sea state parliament, accused agents of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) and police officers of being involved in human trafficking.

He wondered if the eastern Sudanese Presidential Aide, Mousa Mohamed Ahmed, would be able to successfully lead the campaign against human trafficking in the extremely poor region of eastern Sudan.

The Presidential Aide recently signed a charter together with eastern Sudanese state departments, and native and religious leaders in the region to put an end to human trafficking.

“Corruption is rampant in eastern Sudan. For instance, official reports recently revealed that Red Sea government officials have manipulated social support funds for their own benefits,” Idris stated. 

“It will take a much broader campaign then the one initiated by the presidential aide, to successfully combat human trafficking. All government institutions and personnel need to be screened,”

The former MP criticised the federal and state authorities for marginalising the region in general. “Basic services are almost absent in large parts of the state, especially in the fields of drinking water, health, and education. Many children are malnourished. Tuberculosis and other diseases are spreading, along with a lack of medical staff and medicines, while the health authorities impose high examination and hospital fees.”

Last week, Idris accused the government of being weak and unable to establish the rule of law in the country. “The Sudanese government only focuses on securing Khartoum and ignores the rest of Sudan. The repercussions of this political behaviour on eastern Sudan are disastrous.”


Eastern Sudan is known to be a hotspot for human traffickers, who systematically abduct Eritrean and Ethiopian refugees in the region. The asylum seekers are then ‘sold’ to criminal gangs and subjected to torture, in order to pressure their relatives to pay large sums of money for their release.

The kidnapping and trafficking of refugees and Sudanese citizens in the region increased significantly this year. Armed gangs are also attacking farmers along the Ethiopian-Sudanese border, reportedly to occupy their lands.

International reports refer to the involvement of Sudanese army and security officials in human trafficking.

Related articles:

'Risk of human trafficking grown in eastern Sudan': party (24 July 2015)

Police in eastern Sudan release 47 abducted refugees (29 June 2015)

‘Kidnappers of Eritrean refugees demand ransom’: Brother of victim (8 June 2015)

Eritrean asylum seekers abducted in eastern Sudan (5 June 2015)

Army officers charged with human trafficking in eastern Sudan (28 April 2015)

‘Human trafficking on the increase in eastern Sudan’: MP (21 October 2014)

‘Sudan's top officials cooperate in human trafficking’: report (5 December 2013)


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