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[Dehai-WN] (AFP): Sudan busts people smugglers: report

From: Berhane Habtemariam <Berhane.Habtemariam_at_gmx.de_at_dehai.org>
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2012 16:41:55 +0100

Sudan busts people smugglers: report

(AFP) -


KHARTOUM - Sudanese intelligence officers have broken up a ring preparing to
smuggle Eritreans to Israel, a report said on Monday, just days after UN
officials voiced concern over the gangs.

The Sudanese Media Center, which is close to the security apparatus, said
officers in Kassala state bordering Eritrea "were able to capture a network
of people smugglers".

It did not say how many suspects were caught.

"We found with them four Eritreans who were being prepared for transport to
Israel," the report said, adding that officers also recovered firearms,
ammunition, satellite telephones and documents.

"They allegedly send the people to Israel to find jobs. Sometimes they
transport them by force. They are people trafficking," the Sudanese Media
Center said.

On a visit on Thursday to a refugee camp in eastern Sudan near the border,
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, said
Eritrean refugees are being kidnapped and sometimes killed by human

He called for global action against the crimes but said the UNHCR will also
work with Sudanese authorities and the International Organisation for
Migration, an intergovernmental body, to strengthen local police with
additional vehicles, computers and other equipment.

Young migrants are turning to illegal transportation by smugglers to reach
the Sudanese capital Khartoum, the Middle East or Europe, where they hope to
find greater opportunities, UNHCR said in a briefing paper.

But some simply end up being kidnapped for ransoms which the UNHCR said can
reach $10,000.

Many of the Eritreans are fleeing military service in their authoritarian



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