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'Risk of human trafficking grown in eastern Sudan': party

July 24 - 2015 KASSALA
Motorcyclist in a clothing market in Kassala state (Brian Morrow/
Motorcyclist in a clothing market in Kassala state (Brian Morrow/

A senior member of El Tawasool Party has warned the residents of Kassala state in eastern Sudan for international networks that increasingly kidnap both refugees and Sudanese in the state.

In a speech at Amara village in Kassala state this week, the media secretary of the party, Hamid Mahmoud, demanded from the government to "seriously fight these gangs".

Mahmoud explained that the gangs recently began abducting citizens in addition to kidnapping refugees from neighbouring countries.

He called on the people in the region to defend themselves in case the authorities fail to protect them.

Eastern Sudan is known to be a hotspot for human traffickers. They systematically abduct Eritreans and Ethiopians from refugee camps in the region. The asylum seekers are then sold to criminal gangs in the Sinai, Egypt, 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 citizens significantly increased in Kassala state recently. 47 abducted refugees from Eritrea and Ethiopia were released by police forces in Kassala state, eastern Sudan, on 27 June. On 4 June, a representative of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) reported that unknown gunmen abducted 14 Eritrean asylum seekers near a refugee camp.

The international organisation Human Rights Watch earlier pointed out the involvement of Sudanese security officials in human trafficking. 

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