EU calls for more cooperation with Sudan on migration

Eritrean refugees walk at a temporary camp in Kassala, in eastern Sudan, on October 22, 2015. (AFP)

The European Union on Thursday called for greater cooperation with Khartoum on migration and combatting human trafficking after an EU delegation visited a camp for Eritrean refugees in eastern Sudan.

Eritreans make up the third-largest number of those risking the dangerous crossing to Europe, after Syrians and Afghans, with many arriving in eastern Sudan as they flee their country.

“More cooperation between Sudan and European Union is needed to protect asylum seekers, improve border management, confront smuggling and provide meaningful alternatives to the migrants and the host communities,” said Tomas Ulicny, the EU head of delegation in Khartoum.

“The causes for human smuggling and trafficking are linked to the low development rates in east Sudan in particular and the Horn of Africa in general,” Ulicny said in a statement.

As well as Ulicny, heads of the diplomatic missions of Britain, France, Germany, Holland, Italy and Sweden in Khartoum attended Wednesday’s visit to the Wad Sharifey refugee camp.

Ulicny did not specify what sort of cooperation he meant, but since 2011 the EU has provided 79.5 million euros ($88.3 million) for development in impoverished eastern Sudan, where Eritreans arrive fleeing the east African state.

A report in June from the UN human rights office described widespread “gross human rights violations” in Eritrea, including mass incarceration of political opponents, extrajudicial killings and torture.

The Eritrean government dismissed the report.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:49 - GMT 06:49