Sudan announced, on Saturday, its readiness to organize an international forum, within a short period, to discuss issues related to migration, asylum, and displacement, under the supervision of the Intergovernmental Authority for African Development (IGAD), and in partnership with the United Nations and its specialized bodies.
This came in a press conference by the Sudanese Foreign Minister, Maryam Al-Mahdi, at the ministry’s headquarters in the capital, Khartoum, followed by The Eastern herald correspondent.
Al-Mahdi said that “Sudan is preparing to receive a major international forum during the coming short period (without setting a date), to discuss all issues related to migration, asylum, and displacement and their related matters in Sudan and South Sudan, under the supervision of IGAD and in partnership with the United Nations and all its relevant specialized bodies.”
She added: “The situation in Sudan after the revolution (which overthrew Omar al-Bashir in 2019) reduced asylum and migration and encouraged return, but as a result of the conflicts, the host countries bear an unprecedented burden, and therefore we are working with the Refugee Agency and the High Commissioner for Refugees, to make every effort to accommodate them.” refugees and provide for their basic needs.
And she continued: “Our policy towards refugees is based on providing legal protection for them, granting asylum does not mean an unfriendly act against the motherland, preventing any refugee activity hostile to the government of their country, and encouraging voluntary return, and we point here to the shortcomings of the international community towards refugees.”
And she added: “Sudan has direct borders with 7 countries: Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Central Africa, Chad, and Libya, and it also has a maritime border with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
She added, “Most of our common borders with neighboring countries have remained an arena for tensions and security breaches at different times, either because of the internal conditions in our country, or as a result of the policies of some countries and the prevailing conditions within them. Therefore, securing these borders is one of our national security priorities.”
Khartoum says that there are more than two million refugees from neighboring African countries in Sudan, most of them from South Sudan, while the United Nations estimated them, as of mid-October 2019, at about 860,000.