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Sudan’s militia stops 66 illegal migrants in North Darfur

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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)
April 21, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - The Rapid Support Forces (RSF) Saturday managed to arrest a group of 66 migrants with their smugglers in the remote North Darfur area of Wadi Hawar, in a joint operation with the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS).

NISS Director in North Darfur State Brigadier General Awad al-Qurashi said that the operation was carried out in coordination and cooperation with the RSF militiamen deployed in the remote area.

He further told the official news agency SUNA that the RSF arrested the gang of human traffickers with two four-wheel-drive vehicles (Land Cruisers) carrying 66 migrants including 26 Ethiopians and 37 Sudanese nationals, pointing that there were 8 women and 7 children among them.

Sudan is considered as a country of transit for migrants and refugees from Eritrea and Ethiopia, heading to Europe.

There are two routes for human trafficking from Sudan to Libya used by human smugglers one from Khartoum through Northern State and Darfur route via El-Fasher in North Darfur which has gained importance since 2017.

From 1 January to 31 March 2018, the number of refugees and migrants arrived in Italy by sea had decreased significantly. According to the UNHCR, there were 6,296 persons during the first trimester of this year against 24,292 persons reached Italian shores in the same period last year.

"This is a 74 percent decrease".

However, Sudanese remain among the ten most common countries of origin of migrants with Eritrea, Tunisia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Libya, Côte d’Ivoire, Sudan, Guinea, Senegal, and Mali.

Also, despite an overall decrease in sea arrivals, the UN refugee agency noticed that the numbers of Eritreans reaching Italian shores have been on the rise.

(ST)

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