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Sudanese police free 177 victims of human trafficking

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Migrants crossing the Sahara desert into Libya ride on the back of a pickup truck outside Agadez, Niger, May 9, 2016. (REUTERS/Joe Penney)
March 4, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese police on Sunday have busted human traffickers holding 177 victims including 27 women in the capital Khartoum.

However, the police didn’t identify the nationalities of the victims.

A joint police force including the central reserve, emergency and operations police and investigation police has carried out a campaign against human traffickers in Khartoum’s East Nile suburb, pointing out that the gang was arrested in Elwan area.

According to the police, the victims were hidden in six houses, saying the head of the human trafficking gang was arrested during the raid.

The police director of Khartoum State Ibrahim Abdel-Rahim told the official news agency SUNA, three Sudanese nationals were also arrested for sheltering the foreign victims.

He pointed out that the campaign comes within the framework of the preventive plan to secure the Butana Plain area which borders six Sudanese states.

For his part, the police director of East Nile locality Salah Hassan al-Tayeb said the victims have been hidden for 21 days in the prelude to transport them outside the country.

He underlined the arrest of the main suspect and two others, saying the police have seized a handgun, foodstuff and life-saving drugs.

On the other hand, the commander of the force Mustafa Omer Abdel-Sadig said there were no causalities during the raid and no victim was harmed.

He pointed that charges have been filed against the accused at the State Security Prosecution Office under articles (65) of the Penal Code and (7) and (8) of the Human Trafficking Law.

Last December, a joint police force in Sudan’s eastern state of Kassala managed to free 95 victims of human trafficking following an exchange of fire with the perpetrators.

Between 1 and 31 January 2018, 1,184 persons arrived in Italy by sea, representing 28% of the illegal migrants who arrived during the first month of this year. They all crossed the Mediterranean from Libya.

During the same period, 126 Sudanese crossed to Italy, according to the UNHCR.

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.

In January 2014, the Sudanese parliament approved an anti-human trafficking law which punishes those involved with human trafficking with up to 20 years imprisonment.

Also, in 2014, Khartoum hosted a conference on human trafficking in the Horn of Africa, organised by the African Union (AU), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Sudanese government.

The East African nation has also forged a strategic partnership with several European countries and the EU to combat illegal migration and human trafficking.

(ST)

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