EU suspends immigration control projects in Sudan Politics and Economy -

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A spokesman for the European Union said , A German-led project that provides training and equipment to Sudanese border guards and police has been suspended since mid-March. The activities of an EU-funded intelligence center in Khartoum have been suspended since June, Official time.

The European Union has funded these initiatives by 4.5 billion euros ($ 5 billion) to control and monitor the causes of illegal immigration, especially as Sudan is one of the routes to Europe. Germany contributed more than 160 million euros to the project.

Criticism has been raised over fears that working with the Sudanese government in border management could encourage repressive forces Amnesty International accuses of committing war crimes in Darfur. A report from the European Union noted that the project monitored the risk of using resources to achieve repressive goals.

Rapid support forces face accusations of widespread abuses

Rapid support forces face accusations of widespread abuses

Police support

A wave of protests erupted in the country at the end of last year. Demonstrators demanded the overthrow of President Omar al-Bashir. After his fall in April, a transitional military council, including the commander of the rapid support force, took power. Rapid support forces are accused of widespread abuses in Sudan, including the June 3 massacre of some 128 protesters.

While the European Union asserts that neither funding nor equipment has been provided to the rapid support forces, there is no dispute that the Sudanese police, accused of bloody repression of protesters, have received training in these programs.

Commenting on these developments, Dr. Lotus Ott, an expert on human rights issues at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, : The cessation of these projects is the logical outcome of the changing circumstances, but at the same time reveals the flawed aspects when it comes to working with Sudan, stressing that continuing to work with the Sudanese government was inconsistent with the positions of the European Union on the issue of human rights, as well as the goal to find out the reasons Migration.

Sudanese police have received training funded by the European Union

Sudanese police have received training funded by the European Union

Formatting Center

The intelligence center, known as the Regional Operations Center in Khartoum, allows security forces in nine countries of the Horn of Africa to exchange intelligence on smuggling networks and human trafficking operations.

A spokesman for the European Commission said , That the work of the center has been suspended since last June, "until the political / security situation is clarified", and the transfer of some staff temporarily to Nairobi. Training and other activities under the "Better Migration Management" program were halted in mid-March because "their implementation requires the participation of government agencies." The EU refused to say whether the risks of supporting repressive forces contributed to the resolution. At the same time, the spokesman stressed the continuation of other activities provided by the European Union to help the needy in the country.

A European official report dating back to December 2015 has identified the danger that equipment supply operations, training of security forces and border guards, "to achieve repressive goals" or causing criticism by NGOs and civil society for cooperating with oppressive governments on migration .

Sudan is one of the ways to reach Europe

Sudan is one of the ways to reach Europe

Regular control

The Better Migration Management Program is the result of cooperation between France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Britain in cooperation with relief organizations and under the leadership of the German Agency for International Cooperation (GTZ). The program includes projects in 11 African countries as part of an international initiative to monitor illegal migration. The intelligence center was under the supervision of a state-owned French security company.

The European spokesman stressed that "Sudan does not benefit from any direct financial support from the European Union," adding that European support does not pass through the channels of the Sudanese government. "All activities funded by the European Union are carried out through development organizations of EU Member States as well as the United Nations, international organizations and non-governmental organizations that are subject to critical and regular audit procedures," he said.

On the other hand, a spokesman for the German Agency for International Cooperation (GZZ) said that the list of participants in training courses for a better immigration management program is subject to a screening mechanism with the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, with a view to preventing the participation of elements of the rapid support forces in training activities.

A spokesman for the German agency gave a different explanation for stopping the program, saying the suspension was "so that the safety of the staff of the German Agency for International Cooperation would not be jeopardized in the country," pointing to a slow return to activities in other areas, including cadres development.

Tom Wells / AFP

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