SHAGARAB REFUGEE CAMP, SUDAN — Moving at night through the cold, flat desert, armed people smugglers are exploiting, abducting and sometimes killing Eritreans fleeing their authoritarian homeland, the UN and refugees say.
“People catch us, sell us like a goat,” one Eritrean asylum-seeker said of the human traffickers.
Like others who have reached this wind-blown collection of shelters inside the Sudanese border, he accused the local Rashaida tribe of involvement in the people trade, which the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) is hoping to counter through a $2-million effort to support local police and improve camp security.
“These groups that are involved in this are heavily armed. We hear of firefights between government forces and these armed groups,” said Felix Ross, the UNHCR’s senior protection officer in Sudan’s eastern region.
He told AFP the problem has emerged over the past two or three years, with the UNHCR hearing of at…
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