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ICER Action Alert: Sudanese Police and Rashaida Human Traffickers Working Hand in Hand

ICER Action Alert: Sudanese Police and Rashaida Human Traffickers Working Hand in Hand

International Commission on Eritrean Refugees

December 8, 2012    Volume 2012,   Number 17

Latest report from Israel indicates that the number of Eritrean refugees in that country has reached over 36,000 of which none is granted work permit or accorded refugee status. According to the US State Department report out of 4603 asylum applications in 2011, only one was approved, while 3692 were rejected and the rest remain pending. The number of ‘infiltrators’, the name by which Eritreans and other Africans entering Israel illegally are known has decreased substantially in the past few months following the adaption of a draconian law by the Knesset  in July 2012. The law gives sweeping power to the Israeli security apparatus to detain people for three years and afterward deport victims to their country of origin. The stringent law together with the strict patrol exercised by the Israeli Defense Forces does not seem to deter the kidnapping and extortion of Eritreans by the Bedouin, the Rashaida, the Sudanese nationals and security forces and their Eritrean facilitators. These days Cairo instead of the usual Israeli border fence is the popular drop off point for hostage who paid the hefty sum of ransom money demanded by the outlaws. In this regard neither the Egyptian authorities nor the Sudanese government are up to their responsibility to prevent the illegal activities carried on their territories. In this regard we urge the friendly government of Ethiopia to stop the illegal activities that is rampant in the refugee camps and arrest the names of Eritrean facilitators in the kidnapping and extortion operation provided by ICER.

As for the Eritrean Government it has yet to address the crucial issue of our time where the young and the not so young are sold for the highest bidder from cities, towns and the various military camps that it administer.   It is clear that the Government is unwilling to rein on its army officers engaged in slave trade in particular on persons like ‘General’ Tekle Manjus who is accused by an international body as human and arm trafficker. How sincere could the government be when it allowed human traffickers such as Wedi Emba who owns grocery at Forto Sawa but responsible for shipping as many as 50 innocent youth from inside Eritrea to Sinai. ICER dares the Eritrean Government to raise the issue of frequent kidnapping, extortion and murder of its citizens  in Sudan and Egypt with the proper authorities.

The operation to extort Eritrean families has network that extends beyond the refugee camps. The financial transaction has spread widely to include selected European cities, Dubai, Cairo, Libya, Juba and even Ecuador in South America.  Thanks to Israel’s insecure position in the region the ransom money deposited in Tel Aviv is now reduce drastically. In fact the country is gradually turning into a trap for local and Arab interlocutors and middlemen working with the Arabs in Egypt and Gaza.

1- The following are implicated in the shadowy world of kidnapping and extortion and are added in the list that ICER is compiling for future reference and with iron clad evidence for persecution.

  • Habtom no second name currently operating from Juba, South Sudan.Tel. No. 00249955869985
  • Filmon Woldeab operates from Dubai, UAE. Tel. No. 00971552549660
  • Kibrom Tsegay lives in Ecuador. He is contact person and facilitator Tel. No. 0059387047975

2- Two Eritrean citizens, shackled and handcuffed, were brought to an arraignment hearing at the Jerusalem peace court. The two are facing charges of extortion, kidnap and rape and are said to have severely beaten and assaulted the refugees they were paid to smuggle into Israel, all this in an attempt to extort relatives for ransom fees. The accused Habte and Mehari deny all the charges.

3- In late October, Fourteen Eritrean hostages kept in secret hiding places in Eastern Sudan for three months scored a major victory by overpowering 5 of the Rashaida captors and freed themselves. It is to be recalled that similar heroic act occurred last year in the Sinai where hostages revolted and freed themselves as well. Here we observe for the first time that the young employing the experience he/she gained in Sawa. However, there is a twist to the story where the heroes became villain while the outlaws were hailed as acting responsibly and executing their duty as faithful citizen should. The beef here is, the Sudanese security forces released the Rashaidas on  their own recognizance while sending the Eritrean victims of  the horrific kidnapping and forceful confinement by the outlaw Rashaidas  to Atbara Prison. They accused the Eritreans of using deadly weapons smuggled from their country to stage the breakout from the Rashaida secret prison. In the interim one by the name Dio from the Setantaotto environs of Asmara died of hunger and mistreatment in the Atbara prison. His family is informed of the sad situation. We urge persons of good will to support the case of the Atbara 13 by encouraging their lawyer to defend the innocent to the fullest extent.

4- Sad but bizarre story coming out of Kessela and Sinai explains the level of degradation and humiliation that an Eritrean person has to endure. A well known restaurateur by the name Cosco (nickname) in Shegraib refugee camp is kidnapped and sold with his wife to Bedouin Arabs and are asking 70,000 USD  for his release. It appears that Cosco has an impending court case involving Sudanese Security person in the camp who coveted his wife and made a pass to her several times. Cosco filed a complaint against the unruly Sudanese security person. One bright morning police arrived with a bogus court paper that he and his wife are required to appear before the judge for adjudication. Not suspecting  foul play he followed the Sudanese officer where husband and wife were were handed over to Rashaida slave driver to be sold to Sinai where he and his wife are subjected to torture and rape. 

ICER once again warn Eritreans intending to leave their country or those already in the refugee camps to be aware of their surroundings and be an assuming, watchful and walk and act in unison.  The world outside is as freezing cold as the one they left or intending to leave.  Act legally and defend yourself in accordance to the law of the land as well as the universal law that permits you to protect and preserve oneself by any means necessary.

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