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Italian delegation visits Sudan to discuss migration

February 22 - 2016 KHARTOUM
Ethiopian and Eritrean refugees in an eastern Sudanese camp (file photo)
Ethiopian and Eritrean refugees in an eastern Sudanese camp (file photo)

The Italian government mission’s visit to Sudan was concluded on Wednesday. Migration issues were at the centre of the entire mission.

Officials of the Italian Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Department for Civil Freedom and Immigration, and the Counter-Terrorism Department of the State Police, arrived in Khartoum on 15 February.

In a press statement today, the Italian Development Coordination Office in Khartoum reported that the delegation, accompanied by the Italian Ambassador to Khartoum, met with the relevant Sudanese authorities and with representatives of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UNHCR.

The Sudanese authorities expressed great appreciation for Italy’s commitment in favour of the country, including the Italian cooperation projects since 2006, the statement reads.

The meetings discussed and analysed the challenges faced by the country in terms of migration issues, Sudanese internal actions, the collaboration with neighbouring countries, and the needs in the field of migration management. It emerged that strengthening the border management, and training for the concerned border control officials are among the priorities for Sudan.

Voluntary return

The delegation also visited the Migrant Resource and Response Centre, a facility recently opened by the IOM in Khartoum (with financial support of the Italian Cooperation Department), where services such as awareness of the risks of illegal migration, information on legal channels for migration, psychological counselling, basic medical care, and legal advice, are offered to migrants. The centre also provides services related to assisted voluntary return.

“Today, more than ever, coordination between the various European and international actors aimed at avoiding the risk related to the multiplication of initiatives and dispersion of the few resources available, is necessary. [..] It will be crucial to continue to engage the authorities in an effective and frank partnership,” commented the Italian Ambassador in Sudan, Fabrizio Lobasso, during a visit of the delegation to the Wad Sharifey refugee camp in eastern Sudan on 16 February.

Italy further reconfirmed its commitment to a better management of migration in Sudan “that is strategic for the whole region”.

The migration issue was also discussed during a visit of Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour to Brussels last week. The EU Emergency Trust Fund told Ghandour that it will support Sudan in tackling irregular migration to Europe with a €100 million package.


'More EU-Sudan cooperation needed to combat human trafficking': EU Ambassador (25 October 2015)

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