Khartoum — African intelligence agencies have announced a cooperation plan with the African Union (AU) and the United Nations to curb illegal immigration. The CISSA plans to dismantle human trafficking networks which are known to smuggle Africans through Sudan and Libya to Europe.
The Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA), including seventeen African intelligence agencies, kicked off a session in Khartoum on Monday to discuss illegal migration and human trafficking.
Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) deputy director Jalaleldin El Sheikh El Tayeb said that the intelligence agencies had been dispatched by CISSA to Libya and Niger, where they investigated the phenomenon of human trafficking for a report.
CISSA executive secretary Shimelis Ould Samayd said that the plan depends on cooperation with the AU, the UN and the European Union as a tripartite team, and at the strategic, coordinative and operational levels in relation to how to confront human trafficking and illegal immigration.
"The international organisation for migration (IOM) estimated that smugglers provide about $35 million in funding to facilitate crime trips in the form of services in Libya and some African countries. The Khartoum meeting brings together countries of origin, transit and Libya to discuss how to stop this work."
Ould Samayd added that the CISSA asked the AU Commission to help in providing technical support to dismantle the human trafficking networks.
The CISSA was established in 2004, to effectively address the security challenges confronting Africa. It comprises 51 African intelligence bodies. The Sudanese Mohamed Atta El Maula was appointed chairman of the committee in September 2017 after serving as chairman of the Sudanese NISS since 2009.
According to the UN Refugee agency (UNHCR), Sudan is one of the main transit countries for eastern Africans who want to travel to Europe by sea. Funding by the European Commission to the Sudanese government earlier this year, to be implemented under the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, contains a development aid package of €155 million, "to tackle the root causes of irregular migration in the country" and "improve migration management processes".
Human trafficking gangs in Sudan are known to take refugees hostage. In January, police in Kassala freed 95 foreign hostages from human traffickers. Two Eritrean refugees were killed in a gunfight between human traffickers and a security force in Kassala in October last year.
According to the UN migration agency IOM this month, 8,407 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through seven weeks of 2018. This compares with 12,430 arrivals across the region through the same period last year.
The leaders this early part of the year have largely come from countries whose arrivals were much fewer a year ago. Eritrea, with 1,184 arrivals registered, accounted for almost 30 per cent of all arrivals last month, while merely 16 Eritreans were registered arriving in all of January 2017.
African intelligence agencies plan to tackle illegal immigrationThis week the Sudanese Ministry of Interior has announced measures for the travel of young Sudanese people to Libya, Turkey, Egypt and Malaysia, in an attempt to avoid them falling prey to human trafficking and terrorist groups.
Yesterday acting director of the passports and immigration department of the ministry, Maj. Gen. Bahreldin Ali Omar, said in a press statement that the department has received reports from its embassies in Syria, Egypt, Libya and Lebanon. These indicated that a large number of Sudanese youths have fallen victims to human trafficking gangs that have imprisoned them.
Ali Omar said that the "tragic" situation from which the Sudanese suffer in Libya has led to the development of these precautionary travel measures.