Khartoum — Australian authorities have returned a number of boats which sailed from Indonesia carrying illegal immigrants including nine Sudanese, a diplomat in Jakarta said.
FILE - A picture released by the Australian Maritime and Safety Authority (AMSA) shows a boat which according to the AMSA was taken mid-morning before the boat sank near Christmas Island June 27, 2012 (Reuters)
The deputy head of the Sudanese mission in Jakarta Tariq Abdullah al-Tom said in press statements that the his nationals who were in these boats are part of a group of Sudanese who were living in different parts of Indonesia.
Al-Tom said that Indonesian authorities detained fifty people in the aftermath of their failed attempt to enter Australia adding that the embassy was in constant contact with immigration authorities to check on them.
The Sudanese diplomat said that Indonesian authorities did not consider the group violators of law but rather the victims of human trafficking . He stressed that the embassy is working to make them aware of the dangers of illegal immigration in wooden boats which is dangerous to their lives.
He noted that the embassy does not compel Sudanese to leave Indonesian territory saying that their role is limited to coordination with the immigration authorities to assist those wishing to return to their homeland.
Al-Tom disclosed that they submitted a request to the Director General of the Department of Immigration in Indonesia to exempt Sudanese who wish to return home from immigration fees imposed on them as a result of violating residency laws in Indonesia.