Eritrean and Sudanese migrants continue to arrive in Italy with new records.

Undated picture for East African migrants rescued by the charity group Migrant Offshore Aid Station (Photo MOAS)

May 20, 2018 (KHARTOUM) – Eritrean and Sudanese migrants and refugees were the second and the fourth in number of refugees and migrants arriving in Italy by sea during the first five months of 2018, said the UN migration agency.

In its latest report about the arrival of illegal migrants and refugees into Europe released last Friday, the IOM said 26,026 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through the first 136 days of 2018. Only 41% of them arrived through Italy.

Among the 10,659 migrants who are registered in Italy, “Tunisians represent the largest nationality group arriving in Italy by sea from North Africa this year, followed by Eritreans, Nigerians, Sudanese, Pakistan, Malians, Guineans and Senegalese,” said the IOM.

Based on the figures provided by the Italian interior ministry, the report said the number of Tunisian reached 1910 people, 1810 Eritreans and 536 Sudanese nationals.

The Sudanese government says it has largely contributed to halting the human trafficking of Eritrean and Ethiopian nationals who cross Sudan to Libya before to embark for Europe.

However, if we add the number of Eritrean and Sudanese we realise that Sudan continues to be the first source of migrants to Europe with a total of 2346 persons.

IOM pointed that the arrival by sea to Italy at this point in 2018 is 77% less than the reported last year in the same period. At the time, the number of migrants reached 45,785 irregular migrants.

However, compared to the previous years the reduction results from the decrease of migrants from western African countries and Bangladesh. The latter arrived by plane to Libya and then crossed to Europe.

The report also said that 383 drowning cases “on the Central Mediterranean route linking North Africa to Italy” have been registered this year, making it the deadliest sea crossing road in the Mediterranean compared to Greece or Spain.

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(ST)

Eritrea renews accusations to Sudan, Ethiopia and Qatar of supporting Jihadist groups

Eritrea's president, Isaias Afwerki, listens as he meets with Sudan's president, Omar al-Bashir, during an official visit to Khartoum on June 11, 2015. ( Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/ Reuters)

May 15, 2018 (KHARTOUM) – The Eritrean government on Monday has reiterated allegations that Sudan, Ethiopia and Qatar are providing support to opposition Jihadist groups to destabilise security in the Horn of Africa country.

“During the visit of Prime Minister of the Democratic Federal Republic of Ethiopia to Khartoum two weeks ago, the two sides agreed to provide the necessary support to what they called “Eritrean resistance” by all means that enable them to carry out tasks entrusted to them through allowing them to move freely along the joint border,” said the Eritrean Information Ministry in a press release on Monday

“To this end, Major General Hamdi Al-Mustafa from the Sudanese government and a consul named Burhan at the Ethiopian Embassy in Khartoum were assigned to carry out the coordination effort for “Jihadist” organizations alongside the Qatari funding,” added the press release.

Last March, Eritrean information ministry accused Sudan and Qatar of establishing a military training camp for an Eritrean opposition group led by the Islamist Mohammed Jumma.

Also, Asmara claimed that Doha provided Sudan with three Mig fighters and funding a joined Sudanese Ethiopian force deployed along the border with Sudan.

However, Khartoum denied the accusations saying they are just “fabricated and unfounded claims”.

The internationally isolated government in Asmara was not happy with the development of a close alliance between its arch-foe Ethiopia and Sudan. Khartoum turned its back to Asmara after refusing its repeated efforts to reconcile the two neighbours and to forge a regional cooperation area.

Frustrated by the rapprochement between Cairo and Asmara, last January, Khartoum accused the two neighbours of backing unidentified opposition groups. The Sudanese government further closed the border deployed thousands of troops.

(ST)