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Human traffickers arrested in Sudan capital, 177 foreigners freed

March 5 - 2018 KHARTOUM
Eritrean migrants in Sudan (
Eritrean migrants in Sudan (

The police of Khartoum announced the arrest of three human traffickers holding 177 foreigners in the eastern part of the state on Sunday.

The migrants, including 27 young women, were hidden in six houses in the Ulwan district for 21 days. They were provided with food and medicines, while waiting for the right moment to be smuggled from the country, Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Abdelrahim, the police chief of Khartoum state, told reporters in the Sudanese capital on Sunday.

He confirmed that three Sudanese were arrested, “on accusations of harbouring foreigners in preparation for smuggling them out of the country”.

According to the UN Refugee agency (UNHCR), Sudan is one of the main transit countries for eastern Africans who want to travel to Europe by sea.

In end December last year, police in eastern Sudan’s Kassala freed 95 foreigners from the grip of a human trafficking gang.

The Governor of Kassala told reporters that the rescue operation was the largest in terms of releasing hostages in 2017. The authorities of Kassala plan to end all human trafficking in the region in 2018, he added.

Funding by the European Commission to the Sudanese government in early 2017, to be implemented under the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, contains a development aid package of €155 million, “to tackle the root causes of irregular migration in the country” and “improve migration management processes”.

Sudanese activists say that providing such funds to Khartoum are futile. They claim that the aid package is used to tighten the grip of the security apparatus on the population.

In early February, the deputy director of the US Office of Monitoring and Combating Human Trafficking visited Khartoum. He called on the Sudanese government to continue its efforts to combat the smuggling of migrants despite the country’s presence on Washington’s list of non-cooperative human trafficking nations.

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