Sunday, 26 February 2017

http://www.eastafro.com/2017/02/25/sudanese-forces-free-20-men-and-8-girls-from-traffickers-chains/

Sudanese Forces Free 20 Men and 8 Girls from Traffickers’ Chains

Sudanese Forces Free 20 Men and 8 Girls from Traffickers’ Chains

sudaneseonline.com | February 24, 2017
source http://www.eastafro.com/2017/02/25/sudanese-forces-free-20-men-and-8-girls-from-traffickers-chains/


Some of the women who were freed from traffickers in Kassala on Tuesday. (More pictures below)

Members of the Sudanese security forces arrested three alleged members of a human trafficking gang, and freed 28 people they were holding hostage in Sudan’s Kassala state on Tuesday. One soldier was injured in the clash preceding the arrest, and transferred to Kassala hospital.

The force commander, Maj. Abdelkarim Abdeldafi said that the traffickers were intercepted in the Midessisa area. The men and girls were being held together by iron chains, and were in poor health.

Abdullah Musa, of the leadership of the Beja Congress accused the government of “turning a blind eye to the increasing activity of human trafficking gangs in East Sudan despite its full knowledge about the places of their presence”.

He said that “the government only resorts to apprehend the gangs after the worsening of the phenomenon.”

He called on the government to control the border and combat human trafficking.

In October last year, the head of the Kassala state police, Maj. Gen. Yahya Hadi Suleiman acknowledged that at least 200 people fell victim to human trafficking in Kassala in 2016.

The police chief added that many trafficking gangs kidnap foreigners crossing Sudan on their way to the north”, and force them to pay ransom for their release.

In September 2014, the then Interior Minister Lt. Col. Ismat Abdelrahman stated that the phenomenon is “becoming worrisome”, in particular in the eastern Sudanese states of Kassala, El Gedaref, and Red Sea, and in Darfur.



Sudanese officials have often been accused of being involved in the trafficking. In December 2013, a report compiled by European researchers, The Human Trafficking Cycle: Sinai and Beyond (see below) stated that “It appears that there is a close collaboration between Eritrean traffickers and Sudanese security, military and police officials. Members of the Rashaida and Hidarib tribes in East Sudan are also involved in the abductions in Sudan and in Eritrea”.

According to the UN Refugee agency (UNHCR), Sudan is one of the main transit countries of Eritreans and Somalis who travel to Italy by sea.

Source: http://sudaneseonline.com/board/10/msg/Sudanese-forces-free-20-men-and-8-girls-from-traffickers-chains-1487909554.htm


Sudanese Forces Free 20 Men and 8 Girls from Traffickers’ Chains

Source http://www.eastafro.com/2017/02/25/sudanese-forces-free-20-men-and-8-girls-from-traffickers-chains/

Sudanese Forces Free 20 Men and 8 Girls from Traffickers’ Chains

Sudanese Forces Free 20 Men and 8 Girls from Traffickers’ Chains

sudaneseonline.com | February 24, 2017

Sudanese Forces Free 20 Men and 8 Girls from Traffickers’ Chains
Some of the women who were freed from traffickers in Kassala on Tuesday. (More pictures below)

Members of the Sudanese security forces arrested three alleged members of a human trafficking gang, and freed 28 people they were holding hostage in Sudan’s Kassala state on Tuesday. One soldier was injured in the clash preceding the arrest, and transferred to Kassala hospital.

The force commander, Maj. Abdelkarim Abdeldafi said that the traffickers were intercepted in the Midessisa area. The men and girls were being held together by iron chains, and were in poor health.

Abdullah Musa, of the leadership of the Beja Congress accused the government of “turning a blind eye to the increasing activity of human trafficking gangs in East Sudan despite its full knowledge about the places of their presence”.

He said that “the government only resorts to apprehend the gangs after the worsening of the phenomenon.”

He called on the government to control the border and combat human trafficking.

In October last year, the head of the Kassala state police, Maj. Gen. Yahya Hadi Suleiman acknowledged that at least 200 people fell victim to human trafficking in Kassala in 2016.

The police chief added that many trafficking gangs kidnap foreigners crossing Sudan on their way to the north”, and force them to pay ransom for their release.

In September 2014, the then Interior Minister Lt. Col. Ismat Abdelrahman stated that the phenomenon is “becoming worrisome”, in particular in the eastern Sudanese states of Kassala, El Gedaref, and Red Sea, and in Darfur.

Some of the men who were freed from traffickers in Kassala on Tuesday (more pictures below)

Sudanese officials have often been accused of being involved in the trafficking. In December 2013, a report compiled by European researchers, The Human Trafficking Cycle: Sinai and Beyond (see below) stated that “It appears that there is a close collaboration between Eritrean traffickers and Sudanese security, military and police officials. Members of the Rashaida and Hidarib tribes in East Sudan are also involved in the abductions in Sudan and in Eritrea”.

According to the UN Refugee agency (UNHCR), Sudan is one of the main transit countries of Eritreans and Somalis who travel to Italy by sea.

Source: http://sudaneseonline.com/board/10/msg/Sudanese-forces-free-20-men-and-8-girls-from-traffickers-chains-1487909554.htm

Sudanese Forces Free 20 Men and 8 Girls from Traffickers’ Chains

Sudanese Forces Free 20 Men and 8 Girls from Traffickers’ Chains

Sudanese Forces Free 20 Men and 8 Girls from Traffickers’ Chains

sudaneseonline.com | February 24, 2017

Sudanese Forces Free 20 Men and 8 Girls from Traffickers’ Chains
Some of the women who were freed from traffickers in Kassala on Tuesday. (More pictures below)

Members of the Sudanese security forces arrested three alleged members of a human trafficking gang, and freed 28 people they were holding hostage in Sudan’s Kassala state on Tuesday. One soldier was injured in the clash preceding the arrest, and transferred to Kassala hospital.

The force commander, Maj. Abdelkarim Abdeldafi said that the traffickers were intercepted in the Midessisa area. The men and girls were being held together by iron chains, and were in poor health.

Abdullah Musa, of the leadership of the Beja Congress accused the government of “turning a blind eye to the increasing activity of human trafficking gangs in East Sudan despite its full knowledge about the places of their presence”.

He said that “the government only resorts to apprehend the gangs after the worsening of the phenomenon.”

He called on the government to control the border and combat human trafficking.

In October last year, the head of the Kassala state police, Maj. Gen. Yahya Hadi Suleiman acknowledged that at least 200 people fell victim to human trafficking in Kassala in 2016.

The police chief added that many trafficking gangs kidnap foreigners crossing Sudan on their way to the north”, and force them to pay ransom for their release.

In September 2014, the then Interior Minister Lt. Col. Ismat Abdelrahman stated that the phenomenon is “becoming worrisome”, in particular in the eastern Sudanese states of Kassala, El Gedaref, and Red Sea, and in Darfur.

Some of the men who were freed from traffickers in Kassala on Tuesday (more pictures below)

Sudanese officials have often been accused of being involved in the trafficking. In December 2013, a report compiled by European researchers, The Human Trafficking Cycle: Sinai and Beyond (see below) stated that “It appears that there is a close collaboration between Eritrean traffickers and Sudanese security, military and police officials. Members of the Rashaida and Hidarib tribes in East Sudan are also involved in the abductions in Sudan and in Eritrea”.

According to the UN Refugee agency (UNHCR), Sudan is one of the main transit countries of Eritreans and Somalis who travel to Italy by sea.

Source: http://sudaneseonline.com/board/10/msg/Sudanese-forces-free-20-men-and-8-girls-from-traffickers-chains-1487909554.htm

Saturday, 4 February 2017

EU Malta summit: Refugees heading to Europe to be redirected to Asia and Latin America in new £30m British aid plan

A £30m package will provide lifesaving supplies across Eastern Europe while encouraging refugees to consider destinations other than Europe

Refugees heading to Europe will be urged to settle in Asia and Latin America instead, under a new £30m British aid package.
Theresa May announced the scheme at an EU summit in Malta, arguing it showed the Government is “stepping up its support for the most vulnerable refugees”.
The package will see Britain provide lifesaving supplies for people facing freezing conditions across Eastern Europe and Greece, including warm clothing, shelter and medical care.
However, it will also pay for better infrastructure in far-flung countries willing to take refugees who had hoped to settle in Europe.
The move builds on an existing scheme run by The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), but it is the first time Britain’s aid budget has been used to bolster it.
It risks adding to criticism that the Prime Minister is unwilling for the UK to accept a reasonable share of the refugees and migrants fleeing Syria and other war zones.
Only a few thousand Syrian refugees have been resettled in Britain – and the Government has refused to take part in an EU-wide programme to co-ordinate the continent’s response to the crisis.
Government sources stressed that people would only be diverted to countries in Asia and Latin America if they were willing to be resettled there.
The Department for International Development is expected to release a list of interested countries later.
In Malta the Prime Minister insisted the focus of the £30m programme was “helping migrants return home rather than risk their lives continuing perilous journeys to Europe”.
It would provide assistance to refugees and migrants across Greece, the Balkans, Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Sudan.
Priti Patel, the International Development Secretary, said: “Conflict, drought and political upheaval have fuelled protracted crises and driven mass migration. We cannot ignore these challenges.
“This latest support from the UK will help those who decide they want to return home to do so safely, protect men, women and children from exploitation, and ensure that those caught in freezing conditions get the basic help they need to survive.”
The package will be delivered by UNHCR, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and NGO collective Start Network. Its aim is to:
* provide 22,400 life-saving relief items including tents, blankets, winter clothes such as hats and gloves and hygiene kits including mother and baby products
* help more than 60,000 people with emergency medical care, legal support and frontline workers to identify those at risk of violence and trafficking
* allow up to 22,000 people to reunite with family members they have become separated from
* help countries in Asia and Latin America that “might be able to resettle refugees put the infrastructure and systems in place to do so”
* provide more than 1,500 refugees in Egypt, including those fleeing Syria and other conflicts, with urgent health assistance and educational grants for students to go back to school
* provide a migrant centre in Sudan to enable “voluntary returns home when safe”, replicating a successful scheme in Niger.
According to the Government, the package will bring UK humanitarian support in response to the migrant crisis to more than £100m since October 2015.

Eritrea: The Medhane Alem movement in Eritrea, including religious affiliation and history; treatment of members by authorities (2003-February 2015) [ERI105095.E]

source  https://www.ecoi.net/local_link/307642/445336_de.html
Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa

1. Overview

The US Department of State's International Religious Freedom Report for 2013 indicates that the government's record on religious freedom during 2013 was "poor" (US 28 July 2014, 1). In correspondence with the Research Directorate, a professor of comparative religion at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem similarly indicated that the situation with regard to religious freedom in Eritrea is "awful" (26 Feb. 2015). According to the International Religious Freedom Report for 2004, the government enacted a decree in May 2002 by which all religious bodies had to "register or cease all religious activities"; as a result, the government closed down all religious facilities not belonging to the four sanctioned religions (US 15 Sept. 2004). Similarly, International Christian Response (ICR), an international organization that "provides spiritual and material assistance for persons who are persecuted as a result of their Christian beliefs" (ICR n.d.), said that all religious bodies in Eritrea except the four who registered in May 2002 were illegal (ibid. 5 May 2014). The International Religious Freedom Report for 2013 indicates that the four religious groups officially registered with the government are the Eritrean Orthodox Church, Sunni Islam, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Eritrea; churches belonging to other religious groups remained closed during the time of the reporting period (US 28 July 2014, 6).

2. Medhane Alem Movement

Sources indicate that the Medhane Alem Orthodox Church is a renewal movement within the Eritrean Tewahedo Orthodox Church [Eritrean Orthodox Church] (Oriental Orthodox Church 1 Jan. 2013; BBC 27 Sept. 2007; Professor 26 Feb. 2015). The movement reportedly emerged in the 1970s (WEA 24 May 2006). According to Amnesty International (AI) in 2005, the Medhane Alem movement, which means "'Saviour of the World'," is a bible study group of the Eritrean Orthodox Church "centered on the Medhane Alem church in Asmara" (Dec. 2005, 5).
The International Religious Freedom Report for 2006 indicates that in 2004, the Eritrean government closed down a Medhane Alem Orthodox congregation because it disapproved of the group's religious beliefs and practices (US 15 Sept. 2006). The report also indicates that in October 2004, the government detained three Medhane Alem "organizers" without charges (ibid.). In a 2005 report on religious persecution in Eritrea, AI similarly reports that three Orthodox priests, who were leading members of the Medhane Alem bible study group, were detained by authorities (AI 7 Dec. 2005, 12). The same source indicates that the detained priests were a psychiatrist named Futsum Gebrenegus, a physician named Tekleab, and a theologian named Gebremedhin (ibid.). AI further indicates that the three detainees were reportedly sentenced by a secret administrative procedure to five years each and were serving their sentences at the Sembel civilian prison in Asmara at the time of the report (ibid.). Further and corroborating information about the sentencing of the three priests could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.
Sources report that the Patriarch of the Eritrean Orthodox Church, Abune Antonios, was stripped of his functions by the Eritrean government and placed under house arrest in 2005 for protesting the detention of the three Medhane Alem Orthodox priests (BBC 27 Sept. 2007; AI 7 Dec. 2005, 9) and the government's interference with church affairs (ibid.). International Religious Freedom Report for 2013 indicates that Abune Antonios remained under house arrest in 2013 (US 28 July 2014, 5). For further information on the treatment of Orthodox Church members in Eritrea see Response to Information Request ERI104541.
Sources indicate that on 12 February 2005, 15 women belonging to a Medhane Alem group in Keren were detained and held for approximately one month for "holding a home prayer meeting in Keren" (AI Dec. 2005, 13; US 8 Nov. 2005). The International Religious Freedom Report for 2005 indicates that the women were required to sign a document prior to release stating that "they would not take part in their congregations' activities in the future" (ibid.). Sources indicate that individuals of minority faiths are coerced into signing documents renouncing their faith (Open Doors 13 Apr. 2009, 3; US 15 Sept. 2006), and in cases where they refuse to sign, authorities ask detainees' relatives to sign on their behalf (ibid.).
Sources indicate that on 19 February 2005, more than 20 students and 5 teachers of the Medhane Alem movement were detained in Asmara (ibid. 8 Nov. 2005; AI 7 Dec. 2005, 13). Sources report that the students were released but the five teachers, who were also instructors at the University of Asmara, were sent to the Mai Sewa [Mai Serwa] military prison (ibid.; US 8 Nov. 2005). The International Religious Freedom Report for 2005 reports that the students were released the following day (ibid.), while AI reports that the youngest of the students, who ranged in ages from 2 to 18 years old, were released the same day, while the older students were released over the next few weeks (7 Dec. 2005).
The Eritrean Human Rights Electronic Archive (EHREA), a web archive of human rights violations committed by the Eritrean government since 1991 (EHREA n.d.), indicates that, according to Compass Direct News, a news service that provides information on "situations and events facing Christians persecuted for their faith" (Eurasia Review n.d.), security officers went house to house in Mendefera on 25 October 2006 arresting people belonging to the Pentecostal Church and the Medhane Alem movement (EHREA 24 Jan. 2007). According to Compass Direct News, the police had a list of names of Christians belonging to these churches and arrested 150 people on that day and the next, including nursing mothers who were forced to leave their infants (ibid.). Additional and corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.
The US International Religious Freedom Report for 2006 indicates that more than sixty members of the Medhane Alem movement were threatened by Eritrean authorities in 2006 for having support "a petition protesting the government's intervention in the Orthodox Church"; they were asked to withdraw their support for the petition (US 15 Sept. 2006).
According to the Professor, the Medhane Alem movement was shut down by Eritrean authorities around 2005 or 2006 and, to his knowledge, as of 26 February 2015 that movement "has not been reopened" (26 Feb. 2015). Additional and corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Amnesty International (AI). 7 December 2005. Eritrea: Religious Persecution. [Accessed 11 Feb. 2015]
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). 27 September 2007. Tanya Datta. "Eritrean Christians Tell of Torture." [Accessed 11 Feb. 2015]
Eritrean Human Rights Electronic Archive (EHREA). 24 January 2007. Faith McDonnell. "Update on Outrages: Eritrea Continues Campaign Against Christians." [Accessed 11 Feb. 2015]
_____. N.d. "Home." [Accessed 25 Feb. 2015]
Eurasia Review. N.d. "Compass Direct News." [Accessed 25 Feb. 2015]
International Christian Response (ICR). 5 May 2014. "Eritrea Again Persecutes Christians of Officially Recognized Faith." [Accessed 11 Feb. 2015]
_____. N.d. "Who We Are." [Accessed 24 Feb. 2015]
Open Doors. 13 April 2009. "United Nations Human Rights Council: Universal Periodic Review - Eritrea." [Accessed 11 Feb. 2015]
Oriental Orthodox Church. N.d. "The Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church." [Accessed 11 Feb. 2015]
Professor, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. 26 February 2015. Correspondence with the Research Directorate.
United States (US). 28 July 2014. Department of State. "Eritrea." International Religious Freedom Report for 2013. [Accessed 11 Feb. 2015]
_____. 15 September 2006. Department of State. "Eritrea." International Religious Freedom Report for 2006. [Accessed 11 Feb. 2015]
_____. 8 November 2005. Department of State. "Eritrea." International Religious Freedom Report for 2005. [Accessed 11 Feb. 2015]
_____. 15 September 2004. Department of State. "Eritrea." International Religious Freedom Report for 2004. [Accessed 11 Feb. 2015]
World Evangelical Alliance (WEA). 24 May 2006. "Eritrea: Severe Persecution is Expanding." [Accessed 11 Feb. 2015]

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources: The following were unable to provide information within the time constraints of this Response: Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church – Debre Medhanit Medhane Alem.
Attempts to contact the following were unsuccessful within the time constraints of this Response: Diocese of Eritrean Orthodox Church in North America; Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church of St. Mary in Chicago; Ethiopian Orthodox Church – Medhane Alem Parish in York, Ontario; Medhane Alem Eritrean Orthodox Church in Washington, DC; Medhane Alem Evangelical Church in Seattle; Norwegian Church Aid; Saint Mary Eritrean Orthodox Church in Bay Area, California.
Internet sites, including: Africa Review; Aid to the Church in Need; AllAfrica; Asmarino; Bloomberg; Christian Science Monitor; Droit.Afrique.com; ecoi.net; Eritrea РEmbassy in Washington, DC; Evangelical Alliance Foundation; Factiva; Freedom House; Harvard University РPluralism Project; Jeune Afrique; Release Eritrea; Reporters sans fronti̬res; The Tablet; Telegraph; United Nations РHigh Commisioner for Refugees, RefWorld; United States РCommission on International Religious Freedom; World Watch Monitor.

Egyptian Air Force bombs South Sudanese rebels in Upper Nile

Pagak/Juba, February 3, 2017 (SSNA) — The military command of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) has accused Egyptian air force of carrying out air attacks on its bases in Kaka town, saying Cairo dropped at least nine bombs and explosions.
Rebel military spokesperson Colonel William Gatjiath Deng, who declined to offer more details, warned that the involvement of JEM, the SPLM-North, and Egypt in the ongoing civil war could provoke a regional war.
“The continuous involvement of the Sudanese rebels and the escalation of the Egyptian participation in the ongoing war in South Sudan are clear indications to the people of South Sudan, the African Union (AU), the United Nations (UN) and the international community that the Juba regime is provoking the region and tilting South Sudan for a regional war,” he said.
Col. Deng also claimed two Sudanese rebel groups: Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the SPLM-North sneaked into South Sudan Thursday from their northern base called Angathna in the Blue Nile and that their intention is to attack and retake Mustakbal, Wadekona, and Detang from the armed opposition.
He further asserted in a statement that combined forces of government and Sudanese rebels launched a coordinated attack on SPLA-IO positions in Detang today, which he said resulted in a shocking defeat to Lelo, adding rebel forces inflicted heavy losses on the enemies forcing them to flee to areas in Renk, Malakal, and Paloch.
He added the SPLA-IO captured 43 PKMs and 300 AK-47s in good condition.
The rebel spokesman further explained that Juba-backed forces were also repulsed in Booth and Mayom of Unity State. He claimed SPLA-IO Special Division captured nine government soldiers and that they are being treated as Prisoners of War.
South Sudanese rebels have increasingly become suspicious of recent bilateral agreements Cairo strucked with Juba.
In January, the SPLM/A-IO accused South Sudan and Egypt of striking a “dirty deal,” saying the agreement would allow Kiir to receive lethal weapons and ammunition from Egypt to wage a full-scale war against the armed opposition.
“There is a dirty deal going between Kiir and El-Sisi. the issue of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is one of the main deals being finalized in Cairo. Our intelligence sources in Kampala and Juba confirmed that Egypt wants South Sudan and Uganda to be her regional allies so that she can advance its covert sabotage campaign against the Ethiopian Dam. The man [Kiir] is a double agent; he will cause many problems for the entire East Africa region,” a senior rebel official told the South Sudan News Agency last month.
The official added that Egyptian military experts and engineers have been in Juba for months and that the entire secret military deal between Juba and Cairo was orchestrated by Kampala last year.
Col. Deng calls on the AU, UN, and the international community to investigate Egypt’s involvement in South Sudan civil war.  source  http://www.southsudannewsagency.com/index.php/2017/02/03/egyptian-air-force-bombs-south-sudanese-rebels-upper-nile/