The Sudanese General Intelligence Service (GIS) has rescued 18 Ethiopians held by a human trafficking group in eastern Sudan's Gadaref State, Anadolu News Agency reported.
"The national intelligence service in Gadaref State managed to stop a human trafficking network today (Thursday) and freed 18 Ethiopian nationals from a criminal network at Galanahal locality," Adam Osman, Head of the GIS in Gadaref State, told the official SUNA news agency.
Osman called on the United Nations organisations and the International Organisation for Migration "to provide support to Sudan to stop illegal immigration to Europe".
"The border is 265 kilometres long and requires an unconventional security plan by introducing thermal cameras and radars, in addition to helicopters to pursue human traffickers," Osman said.
Sudan is combating human trafficking, which has doubled in recent years, and is led by organised gangs on its eastern borders with Ethiopia and Eritrea, and whose activities extend to the north-western borders with Libya.
Sudan is considered a transit point for irregular migrants, most of who are from the Horn of Africa, where they are transported to other countries.
The Sudanese government says there is no official data on the number of irregular migrants or human trafficking gangs that are active in smuggling them, due to its weak capabilities to pursue them across its vast borders.