October 22, 2018
In the past two weeks the Sudanese security forces and police have unleashed rounding ups and raids targeting Eritrean refugees and asylum seekers in Khartoum. The parts of Khartoum targeted are areas such as Diem, Jiref, Sehafa, Mukhterebin, in which Eritrean and Ethiopian refugees are highly concentrated. As usual the raids are targeted at those refugees who do not have the residence permit for the city. Nevertheless, sources who have knowledge about the raids attribute the raids to fund raising and wealth accumulation motives by exploiting the situation of the Eritrean refugees. Exploiting the increase in the flows of Eritrean refugees to Sudan through Ethiopia starting from September, the Sudanese security forces and police are racing with time to exploit the situation to their advantage by rounding up and detaining the Eritrean new arrivals and forcing them to pay 15,000 Sudanese pound (830 dollar) in exchange for their release from detention before they get time to apply for the residence permit. In the process of rounding up and arrests members of the Sudanese security forces and police also work hard to benefit from the situation individually through corrupt means such is bribery. They demand about 2000 (102 dollar) Sudanese pounds from each refugees to let them go free before they are taken to the prisons which is a worrisome development as it may encourage more criminal activities against the Eritrean refugees. Those arrested from Jiref are being held in Arba Wetemanin prison while those from Sehafa and Mukhterebin in Imtidad prison.
The Sudanese security forces and police have been practicing such rounding ups against Eritreans refugees for years as means for raising funds both at institutional and personal levels.
As reported previously by Africa Monitors, following the opening of the Ethio-Eritrea border and the free movement of goods between the two countries, Eritreans are fleeing to Ethiopia en mass with a considerable number migrating further to countries such Sudan.
Africa Monitors, calls on the UNHCR and the international community to exercise their power to pressurize Sudan to respect the rights of Eritreans who have fled their country.