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Sudan tightens control, conducts patrol along Eritrean border

RSF fighters deployed in Kassala State on Thursday 4 January 2018 (ST Photo)
January 12, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The government of Kassala State on Friday said the regular forces are conducting joint patrols on the border with Eritrea to combat smuggling and human trafficking.

Last week, Sudan closed its border with Eritrea after the deployment of thousands of troops from the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) fighters to Kassala State. Also, the local authorities formed a higher committee for popular mobilization.

Sudan on Thursday officially admitted that the deployment of troops along the Eritrean border came as result of military threats from Eritrea and Egypt against the country.

The semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC) Friday quoted the police director of Kassala State Yahia al-Hadi as saying the geographical location of the state requires putting in place strict controls.

He pointed to the large and open borders with Eritrea, saying it is imperative to tighten control to prevent any negative phenomena.

Al-Hadi pointed to the adverse economic, health and security impact of those phenomena on the country, revealing an integrated plan to combat smuggling including the dispatch of joint patrols on the border.

He further underscored the importance of security cooperation among the various regular forces to achieve stability, calling on the residents to cooperate with the police and immediately notify of any smuggling operations.

It is noteworthy that Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir late last month issued a decree imposing a six-month state of emergency in North Kordofan and Kassala states.

At the time, the state presidential minister Al-Rashid Haroun said the imposition of the emergency order in Kassala was prompted by security reasons pertaining to the collection of illicit arms as well as combating drugs and human trafficking.

Sudan is considered as a country of origin and transit for the illegal migration and human trafficking. Thousands of people from Eritrea and Ethiopia are monthly crossing the border into the Sudanese territories on their way to Europe through Libya or Egypt.

(ST)