KHARTOUM – Sudan’s Rapid Support Forces (SRF) Friday said it has captured 41 illegal migrants and killed 17 human traffickers on the Sudanese-Libyan borders.
SRF filed commander Hassan Mohamed Abdalla told the official news agency SUNA that their fighters clashed with the armed human trafficking gangs on the border triangle between Sudan, Libya and Egypt.
He said that 41 illegal migrants have been arrested after the clashes including 10 from the Comoros, 8 from Somalia, 3 from Bangladesh, 11 from Syria and 16 from Ethiopia.
Abdalla added that 7 human traffickers have been arrested and 17 others were killed during the clashes, saying their fighters seized 6 war vehicles, 19 Thuraya satellite phones and one car.
He pointed out that 2 SRF fighters have been killed and 6 others injured during the clashes.
The commander stressed that the SRF has been carrying out its national duty by protecting all Sudan’s borders, demanding the international community to support the SRF efforts in combating illegal migration and cross-border crimes.
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.
Sudan is cooperating with the EU countries to combat the illegal migration from Sudan and Horn of Africa countries including Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia.
In April 2016, the EU officially allocated Sudan €100 million to improve the living conditions for refugees, help Sudanese returnees to reintegrate back into society, and to improve security at the border.
Also, Sudan benefits from additional funding under the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, in particular from a €40 million programme to better manage migration in the region.
In June 2016, hundreds of RSF elements have been deployed in the remote desert of the Northern State shortly after a complaint by the governor of drug and human trafficking by the criminal networks.
Last January, RSF Commander Mohamed Hamdan Dagolo, (aka Hametti) said they intercepted the smuggling of 1500 illegal migrants on the Sudanese-Libyan border since their fighters were deployed to the desert area.
The RSF militia, which is widely known as the Janjaweed militias, were originally mobilised by the Sudanese government to quell the insurgency that broke out in Sudan’s western region of Darfur in 2003.
The militia was activated and restructured again in August 2013 under the command of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) to fight rebel groups in Darfur region, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states following joint attacks by Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) rebels in North and South Kordofan in April 2013.
Earlier this year, the Sudanese parliament passed RSF Act which integrates the notorious militia in the Sudanese army and provides that its commander is appointed by the President of the Republic.