July 30, 2016 (EL-FASHER) - Commander of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, (aka Hametti) said his fighters have arrested about 600 Ethiopian illegal migrants near Sudan’s border with Libya and Egypt.
SRF field commander Mohamed Hamdan (Hametti) speaks in a press conference in Khartoum on Wednesday May 14, 2014 (ST)
Last June, hundreds of RSF elements have been deployed in the remote desert of the Northern State shortly after complaint by the governor of drug and human trafficking by the criminal networks.
On Saturday, Sudanese army’s sixth infantry division in North Darfur capital El-Fasher has celebrated the return of the RSF from the Northern State.
Speaking during the celebration, Daglo said his forces arrested about 600 illegal Ethiopian migrants and thwarted several human trafficking operations near Sudan’s border with Egypt and Libya and at Al-Nakheel area in the Sahara desert.
He pointed those illegal migrants have been handed over to the authorities in North Darfur as a prelude to repatriate them into their home country.
The RSF commander said the media has turned a blind eye on numerous offences committed by rebel groups including killing incidents, displacement of civilians and destruction of civil institutions.
Daglo hailed discipline among RSF fighters, saying Sudan became a crossing point for illegal migrants seeking to travel to Europe and the United States.
He called on the West to appreciate efforts exerted by the Sudanese government to combat human trafficking and illegal migration across the Sahara.
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.
For his part, the commander of the sixth infantry division Ashraf Mahdi El-Rifaie said North Darfur became free of rebellion due to efforts of the Sudanese army, RSF and the rest of the regular forces.
“The RSF carried out its full role and combed the area of the rebel remnants and human traffickers” he said
He added that the RSF managed to free hundreds of foreigners from the grip of human traffickers on the desert near the Egyptian border.
Earlier this month, Daglo said his men arrested over 300 illegal immigrants heading to Libya across the remote desert of Northern State.
Deputy Governor of North Darfur, Mohamed Braima, for his part, described the RSF as the right arm of the Sudanese army, saying they play a major role in maintaining peace and security.
He pointed that the security situation in Darfur is stable, saying the government works to amend the social fabric and hold tribal reconciliations to unify the internal front and address the effects of war.
Earlier this year, the European Union granted a €100m development package to address the root causes of irregular migration in Sudan. The financial support came after pledge by the Sudanese government to cooperate with Brussels to stop human trafficking to Europe.
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.
The RSF, which is widely known as the Janjaweed militias, were originally mobilized by the Sudanese government to quell the insurgency that broke out in Sudan’s western region of Darfur in 2003.
The militia was reactivated and restructured again in August 2013 under the command of NISS to fight the alliance of rebel groups from Darfur region, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states following joint attacks in North and South Kordofan in April 2013.