The Sudanese Interior Minister, Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid, has revealed that more than 8,000 Sudanese have crossed into Israel and are working in the Zionist state. They are, claims Mr. Hamid, "being badly exploited there".
Hamid alleged that the majority of the Sudanese in Israel are from South Sudan and that some refugees from other states in Africa take advantage of looking like Sudanese and claim that they are from Sudan when they appear before the Israeli office for refugees.
In a statement on refugees at home and abroad, Minister Hamid said that there are 5,118 Sudanese asylum seekers in the European Union. "There is no way to know the precise number of Sudanese refugees in the European countries," he pointed out. "My government relies on statistics from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)."
There are an estimated 450,000 Sudanese refugees in neighbouring countries. "According to the UNHCR," said Hamid, "there are around 250,000 Sudanese refugees in Eastern Chad, 60,000 in Ethiopia, 140,000 in South Sudan and 20,000 in Egypt." He accused South Sudan of blocking the return of refugees in order to support the claim that there is a humanitarian crisis in the area.
The minister acknowledged the existence of "gangs" which are "trafficking" human beings across the eastern border of the country. He described them as "multi-national gangs with Sudanese, Ethiopian and Eritrean members" and pointed out that the length of the border made infiltration relatively easy.
"There is a common desire in Sudan and Ethiopia to eradicate the human trafficking across the borders of the two countries," he said. He added that immigration laws are being amended to deter such activities.
In the same statement, Minister Hamid revealed that there are more than 162,000 registered refugees in Sudan from neighbouring countries. Most, he said, are from Eritrea (117,902), Chad (19,124) and Ethiopia (17,245 people).