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'Sudan security should focus on human trafficking, not on activists'

July 7 - 2016 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 (

The Sudanese government is not making appropriate efforts to combat human trafficking, says Idris Shedli, president of the East Sudanese El Tawasol party.

In an interview with Radio Dabanga on Wednesday, Shedli described the US State Department's listing of Sudan on the blacklist as a human trafficking country as “self-evident”.

He accused the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) of focusing on detaining students and activists in the country instead of “combating major crimes such as human trafficking. They should intensify security presence in the border areas”.

The politician warned for “an outbreak of tribal clashes because of the escalating human trafficking these days”. He pointed to the tribal tensions that occurred earlier this week after traders were abducted for ransom in the area of El Gargaf. The kidnappers returned the traders after native administration leaders intervened.

“The countries in the region need to cooperate in the fight against this ugly phenomenon, and address the problem by tackling its root causes,” Shedli stressed.

Tackling migration

According to the UN Refugee agency (UNHCR), Sudan appears to be one of the main transit countries of Eritreans and Somalis who travel to Italy by sea – two of the largest groups of immigrants arriving in Europe.

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

Sudanese activists have claimed that the EU policies in the campaign against illegal immigration and human trafficking by providing such funds to African governments are futile. They fear that the aid package is used to tighten the grip by the security apparatus on the population.

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