107 migrants found stranded in the desert by Sudanese-Libyan Joint Forces, who patrol the border area between the two countries, have been handed over to the Sudanese immigration authorities.
The migrants, believed to be from Eritrea and Ethiopia, have been taken to Dongola in Sudan’s Northern State.
Col Anwar Nogoudi, commander of the Sudanese-Libyan Joint Forces, said his troops provided food, water, and medical services to the migrants before transferring them to Sudanese ’’immigration authorities.
Col Nogoudi warned against the danger of illegal immigration and human trafficking gangs. He stressed no one should try to migrate to or through Sudan illegally, because the immigrants could lose their lives.
Sudan is one of the major routes used by migrants fleeing the Horn of Africa en route to Libya, from where they hope to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.
Hundreds of thousands of migrants have attempted the crossing from North Africa to Europe in recent years, and more than a thousand migrants have died at sea every year for the last five years, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
Eritreans and Ethiopians are often trafficked by Ethiopian gangs. Should they reach Libya, they face abysmal conditions in refugee settlements, are frequently subjected to harsh treatment, and sometimes held for ransom as a means to extort money from their families.
During the last months, there has been an increase in assaults, kidnappings and cattle rustling in the Sudan-Eritrea-Ethiopia border area. Several eastern Sudanese were killed during these violent incidents. In December last year, Sudanese-Libyan Joint Forces recovered 145 Sudanese citizens who were deported by the Libyan authorities. They were reportedly tortured while being held by gangs.