Migrants captured in Sudan fleeing forced military conscription

Migrants captured in Sudan fleeing forced military conscription

Migrants captured in Sudan fleeing forced military conscription

Migrants of different nationalities are being detained at military facilities in Sudan according to the BBC . Many of those migrants are Eritrean, fleeing the country’s indefinite military conscription which many feel denies them a future. Migrants in the region are entrusting their lives to people smugglers who often pressure them to ask relatives abroad to pay even more money to stop the smugglers from harming their family members, only to abandon them further down in the journey. Exploiters often target young and newly arrived migrants promising to accompany them safely out of Sudan for a fee. However, instead, they are deserted far from home or worse, in the crosshairs of another country’s violent conflict. In addition, the hostile reception and subsequent undocumented migration status they find in many places leave them extremely vulnerable to modern slavery.

Viral video shows sister captive and beaten

Mihret Gebru, a young woman from Eritrea was watching two viral videos on her phone with concern. People from the Horn of Africa were being beaten and assaulted by armed men in Sudan. But her initial concern turned to horror when she spotted her sister in the group of frightened captives. Her sister had left home a few months ago to escape Eritrea’s oppressive forced indefinite military conscription and now she was a captive of one of the two forces fighting for control of Sudan since April 2023 when the country descended into chaos.

Gebru said:

“Instantly I was able to identify Luwam, who is wearing the orange scarf I know very well – and her shoes, which can be partly seen,”

According to the UN, there are more than 147,000 Eritreans and around 70,000 Ethiopians in conflict-plagued Sudan. Similar reports of the army detaining asylum seekers and refugees were also received by the UN’s refugee agency. Photos of Gebru’s sister’s group show them crammed into a room in a warehouse. Gebru clearly spotted her sister in several instances due to her distinctive orange scarf. Another Eritrean identified one of her neighbors among the group. Since their initial spotting several months ago, no one has been able to get any more information about the captive’s whereabouts or their wellbeing.

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