IGAD Report: Eritrean diplomats involved in human smuggling
A new report prepared by the Security Sector Program (ISSP) of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the Nairobi-based SAHAN Foundation has revealed that Eritrean diplomats and prominent nationalities of the Red Sea state are massively involved in human trafficking and smuggling activities in the Horn of Africa region.
The report was prepared upon the request of the governments of Ethiopia and Sudan and describes the illegal activities that are taking place from the Horn of Africa via Libya to Europe as a “dangerous and organized illicit trade”.
The 39-page report entitled, “Human Smuggling and Trafficking on the Horn of Africa-Central Mediterranean Route” was made public February 19, 2016 during a consultation meeting organized by the new ISSP office, which was opened in Addis Ababa.
The new report was summarized and presented to the Addis Ababa-based diplomats and the press by Matt Bryden, chairman of SAHAN. Bryden indicated the different human trafficking routes, mainly the Northern and Southern route, to Europe.
Accordingly, human trafficking between the Horn of Africa and Europe is run by a “sophisticated and integrated international networks that derive massive profits from the mass movement of thousands of migrants and refugees”.
“The principal smugglers and trafficking kingpins who dominate the central Mediterranean Route are predominantly Eritrean in nationality who reportedly collaborate with ethnic Somalis, Ethiopians and Sudanese to eases border crossings,” the report read.
The study claimed that there are two groups of migrants from Eritrea; those who fled Eritrea on their own and those who claim to have been assisted. Those travelers said that they have contacted facilitators in and outside Eritrea for a safe passage out of the country. Others allegedly said to have contacted smugglers over the internet who provided local contacts usually in Asmara.
“These facilitators – alleged to be government facilitators – would typically arrange for transportation to Sudan or Ethiopia without any immigration procedure…Some prominent Eritrean human smugglers appear to rely upon the services of Eritrean diplomats abroad,” the report stated.
Some migrants are also reported to have obtained Eritrean ID cards and passports at the Eritrean embassy in Khartoum.
Some well-connected Eritrean smugglers operating from Khartoum are said to have organized flights to remote international destinations from where European visas are obtained for their passengers.
The report identifies some of the key Eritrean nationals involved in smuggling and trafficking.
Source: Fana Broadcasting Corporate