Profils de pays Soudan

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A. Executive Summary

The Republic of the Sudan is a country of origin, transit, and destination, geographically positioned along the main migratory routes from West and East Africa to Europe. Sudan is a place of origin for migration due to on-going conflicts and related insecurities, as well as a stagnated economic situation marked by widespread unemployment. At the same time, Sudan is both a temporary and a long-term host country to a large population of refugees and asylum seekers. Sudan receives a constant inflow of South Sudanese nationals since the separation of the two countries in July 2011, due in part to the on-going dispute over the Abyei territory. Around 300,000 South Sudanese refugees arrived in Sudan between December 2013 and the end of 2016, over 130,000 of whom arrived during 2016. 

Historically, Sudan has always been the place where different ethnic groups, tribes, religions, and cultures converged and coexisted. In 1899, a condominium government was jointly established by the United Kingdom and Egypt. In 1956, Sudan became an independent state. Since then, social, economic, and political issues have escalated into conflict and ultimately civil war. The more acute phases of the conflicts occurred between 1956-1972 and 1983-2004. This latter phase led to over 2 million deaths and more than 4 million people being displaced, mainly in the South of Sudan. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of January 9, 2005 ended the conflict between North and South Sudan and paved the way for the creation of a Government of National Unity (GoNU) and a Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS). Elections were eventually held in 2010 and a referendum on the self-determination of Southern Sudan took place in 2011.

Conflict in Sudan has evolved from the high levels of violence in 2003-2004 to the current lower intensity confined conflict situation, but a peaceful settlement is not envisaged in the immediate future. The conflict has multiple dimensions. The security situation in the Blue Nile and Kordofan regions remains unstable due to the armed confrontations between the Sudan Armed Forces and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement. The conflict often involves the use of heavy weaponry and the use of air strikes. Violence has become widespread and unpredictable, leading to a more fragile humanitarian environment. Terrorist groups are also known to operate in Sudan and these groups seek opportunities to carry out attacks, which include suicide operations, bombings, and kidnapping. Human mobility is not only a consequence of conflict but also caused by on-going tension between the different armed groups. Displacement in Sudan is also connected to the exploitation of resources that has disrupted traditional migratory routes, intertribal competition over water and land use, and infrastructural and economic development projects that have caused urbanisation and large-scale population movement. 

Despite being one of the most important phenomena in Sudan, data on migration is scarce. The latest national census and the latest International Organisation for Migration (IOM) migratory country profile relies on data collected in 2008. The IOM points out the “lack of regular statistical production and inadequate coverage of administrative sources.”

B. Country Profile

I. Basic Information

The Republic of the Sudan is the third largest country in Africa (1,886,068 km2), geographically located at the crossroads of sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East and stretches as far as the Red Sea to the East. It shares borders with 7 countries: Libya, Egypt, Chad, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and Eritrea. The White and Blue Niles meet in Khartoum, the capital city. The South of Sudan is predominantly swamps and rainforests. The central and northern parts of Sudan include extremely dry desert areas towards the east, including the Nubian Desert and the Bayuda Desert. In northern and western semi-desert areas, people still rely on the scanty rainfall for basic agriculture and many are nomadic, travelling with their cattle along traditional seasonal migration routes. Sudan’s population was 42,813,238 in 2019. Sudan is home to more than 150 national ethnic groups and over 400 different languages and dialects. The broad ethnic groups are approximately 52% black, 39% Arab, 6% Beja, 2% foreigners, and 1% other. In terms of religions, 70% of the population is Sunni Muslim (mainly in the north), 5% is Christian (mostly in the south and in Khartoum), and 25% hold indigenous beliefs. 

II. International and Internal Migrants

Sudan has traditionally been a destination country for people arriving mostly from neighbouring countries and West Africa in general, which was facilitated by the existence of trading and pilgrimage routes. Many foreigners arrived under the British administration, in particular Egyptians and Indians. After independence, Sudan started hosting people looking for asylum coming from Zaire (today the Democratic Republic of Congo), then Uganda, Chad, Ethiopia, and Eritrea. 

Sudan is a transit point in the Eastern African Migratory Route into North Africa and towards Europe as well as west into Yemen and the Gulf States.  Sudan is also a hub for the north eastern route for nearly all Eritrean, Ethiopian, and Somali migrants who intend to cross over into Europe relying on the services of unscrupulous brokers. They are often subjected to severe exploitation and abuse. Other migrants residing in or transiting through Sudan include Chadians, Ugandans, and Nigerians, who often enter the informal labour market. According to the Migration Crisis Operational Framework (MCOF), a sophisticated network of smugglers and traffickers enable the movement of people from and through Sudan towards other countries. Khartoum has become a transit and destination point for human trafficking, sometimes directly from Ethiopia to Khartoum. It is worth noting that due to the highly insecure situation in Sudan and its neighbouring countries, the line is blurred between irregular migrants, asylum-seekers, and refugees. 

In 2013, the number of international migrants in Sudan was 446,707, with the top 5 countries of origin in order of population being Eritrea (more than 30%), South Sudan (roughly 18%), Chad (approximately 17%), Ethiopia (about 14%), and Nigeria (around 3%). Conversely, in 2019 the number of international migrants had risen to over 1.2 million and the majority of the international migrants in Sudan were from South Sudan (approximately 750,000) substantially outnumbering the next largest population of around 200,000 Eritreans. The third, fourth, and fifth top countries remained the same and in the same order of population: Chad, Ethiopia, and Nigeria. 

In an IOM 2017 study on “Migrants in Sudan” conducted in Khartoum, the top 5 countries of origin for the participants were Eritrea (51%), Ethiopia (22%), Nigeria (15%), Somalia (13%), and Syria (5%). The remaining 17% came from 12 other countries including Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Uganda, and Yemen. 70% of respondents were between 18 and 30 years old, and one third of respondents were women. Around 60% of respondents had education levels of high school or above. According to migrants, their decision to move was based on: financial and economic factors (cited by more than 50% of respondents), fear of arbitrary arrests and detainment (41%), forced military or civil service (38%), lack of safety due to conflict (34%), and lack of safety due to religious or political beliefs (27%). This shows the mixed patterns of migration in Sudan. The IOM report helped to identify two relatively less known migration routes, one connecting Nigeria to Sudan, via roads through Chad, and the other being an air connection between Syria and Sudan. Only 39% of respondents were employed in Khartoum, whereas 62% expressed that they were not earning enough to meet their basic needs. A total of 77% said that they wanted to migrate onwards from Sudan for better job opportunities.

Immigrants generally have a low awareness of their rights and are at risk of discrimination and social exclusion, as well as exploitation and abuse. Thousands of Eritrean, Ethiopian, and other African migrants are vulnerable to trafficking due to their economic fragility and lack of access to justice. Eritreans comprise the highest number of victims of trafficking in Sudan, mainly in the east, where traffickers target the consistent flow of migrants and asylum seekers. Ethiopian women are compelled to work in private homes in Khartoum and other urban centres. Darfur armed groups exploit some migrants in forced labour and sex trafficking. Some cross-border tribes – such as smugglers linked to the Rashaida and Tabo tribes who abduct Eritrean nationals at border crossings – force abductees to perform domestic or manual labour and abuse them in other ways, including exploiting them in forced labour or sex trafficking. 

Internal migration in Sudan is most often related to forced displacement and internal displacement. Among the factors driving these processes are the civil war, economic and environmental degradation, and the widespread hunger and malnutrition that lead to the outbreak of diseases such as malaria and cholera. 

III. Emigration and Skilled Migration

Many Sudanese have left the country for economic reasons as well as the political instability during the periods of civil war at the beginning of the 1990s. They mainly went to neighbouring countries, then the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and Australia, as well as Libya, Saudi Arabia, and other Gulf countries.

In 2016, there were around 4.5 million Sudanese living abroad. A total of 51% of them were living in neighbouring African countries, and the other 49% resided in higher human development countries such as the Gulf States, Europe, and North America. Sudan’s net migration rate in 2021 is -0.612 per 1,000 persons, which is a 24.54% decline from 2020. Sudan’s net migration rate dropped substantially in 2008 from 8.11% to -10.23% and has been declining fairly consistently since 2009, which shows a decline in the emigration trend. Significant numbers of these Sudanese migrants have since returned home from Syria, Libya, Chad, the Central African Republic, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and South Sudan, either fleeing conflict or instability in those regions or because of deportation. For instance, 63,000 Sudanese migrants returned from Libya following the conflict starting in February 2011 and more than 6,500 migrants were forcibly returned from Chad following clashes between Chadians and immigrants working in mines in the Tibesti Mountains region. 

Between 5 and 10% of Sudanese in Arab countries work in high-skilled occupations, which include engineers, university professors, medical specialists, teachers, legal advisers, lawyers, managers, and entrepreneurs. This suggests points to a brain drain for some professional categories like health professionals. In Europe, there are Sudanese migrants from Darfur who are well-educated, mid-career professionals with well-paying jobs, who were forced to flee due to surveillance and harassment from Sudanese security and intelligence agencies, including former employees of the UN-African Union hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID). A considerable proportion of these Sudanese migrants are students, many of whom had been politically active. Despite traditional reasons for migration by Darfuri Sudanese women, like family reunification, there is some evidence that this is changing, and a small amount of Darfuri women have migrated on their own to Europe, usually those that are better-educated and more affluent. 

IV. Forced Migration (internally displaced, asylum seekers, and refugees) 

As of October 31, 2020, there were a total of 764,874 Sudanese refugees, totalling 190,797 households. Of these, 19% were men, 24% women, 28% boys (under 18 years old), and 28% girls (under 18 years old). They are mainly hosted in Chad (372,828) and South Sudan (282,659), as well as in Egypt (49,253), Ethiopia (43,684) and Libya (15,954). The refugees come from the states of West Darfur (31.58%), Blue Nile (25.81%), North Darfur (17.87%), South Kordofan (17.15%), and Khartoum (4.06%). Most of these refugees are ethnically Massalit (23.93%), Zaghawa (19.63%), Nuba (16.22%), Ignassana (11.86%), Funju (6.3%), Uduk (5.11%), Fur (2.95%), Moro (1.5%), Messeria Djabal (1.24%), and Tama (1.2%). Sudanese refugees reportedly had specific needs connected to disability (1.82%), elderly persons at risk (1.69%), single parents (1.36%), women at risk (1.16%), unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (1.11%), children at risk (<1%), and serious medical conditions (<2%).

Additionally, there were 2,552,174 internally displaced people (IDPs) in Sudan as of July 31, 2020. Of these, 51% are women. IDPs are mainly found in the states of South Darfur (31.1%), North Darfur (19.7%), Central Darfur (17.5%), West Darfur (13.2%), South Kordofan (8.5%), East Darfur (5.3%), West Kordofan (2.8%), and Blue Nile (1.9%). The majority of IDPs in each state (with the exception of West Kordofan and West Darfur) are displaced from within the same state. North Darfur has the largest proportion of displaced individuals from within its own state (indicating that the movement is confined to the north-west region of Sudan), as well as the greatest number of IDP locations, with 256 sites (34%), followed by South Kordofan (27%). The prevalence of IDPs in Darfur is likely attributed to the protracted nature of the displacement that has been on-going since 2003, as well as the high presence of densely populated camps in Darfur compared to the more informal sites in Kordofan. 

Most people in Sudan are displaced because of armed conflict (90%), communal clashes based on tensions over ethnicity, land, or livestock (37%), economic reasons such as lack of livelihoods and services provisions (8%), and natural disasters such as floods or droughts (8%). Approximately 17% of IDPs in West Kordofan were displaced because of natural disasters as of December 2019. Between mid-July and October 2020, heavy rains across the country caused widespread flooding, landslides, destruction of infrastructures, houses and livelihoods, affecting more than 98,000 individuals across North and South Darfur. Around 64% of current IDPs were initially displaced between 2003 and 2010, at the height of the Darfur crisis. A total of 76,416 IDPs have been newly displaced in 2018 and 39,379 in 2019. This decreasing trend in new displacement could potentially be reflective of a reduction in insecurities across the region, although the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported an increase in incidents of inter-communal violence in Darfur during the second half of 2020. 

The majority of IDPs may be displaced from their rural homes to urban cities in search of safety and economic security, which suggests a proportional relationship between displacement and urbanisation. Indeed, 66% of IDPs are found in urban areas. Additionally, the states of Central Darfur and West Kordofan host predominantly rural IDPs, which may reflect the rural dimension of the conflict. IDPs face a number of health challenges, particularly for vulnerable groups such as pregnant women, nursing women, unaccompanied elders, physically disable persons, chronically ill persons, and mentally ill persons. The length of displacement diminishes the likelihood of return as families are forging new lives for themselves as they settle into originally “temporary” sites of displacement. Thus, the lowest proportion of total returns occurred over the course of 2019, while the period from 2011 to 2015 saw the highest return rate. This trend seems to be reflective of a mass influx of individuals returning to their habitual residences at the end of the Darfur crisis. Most returnees reside in North Darfur (70%) and 90% return to rural areas. 

The returnees from abroad represent 5% of all returnees, mainly coming back from Chad (46%), Libya (20%), South Sudan (18%), and Saudi Arabia (7%) to West Kordofan and West Darfur. Land tenure and ownership impede their returns and reintegration. This is because upon their arrival to their place of origin, returnees may find their land and property already occupied. This exacerbates the lack of safety and security of those who return as well as the availability of basic services and access to livelihood opportunities upon return. 

Regional instability affecting bordering countries has led to an increasing number of people seeking asylum in Sudan. As of December 31, 2020, Sudan was hosting 1,056,326 refugees and asylum seekers. Refugees are hosted in the states of Khartoum (28.9%), White Nile (25.4%), Kassala (11.8%), East Darfur (6.4%), West Kordofan (5.9%), Gedaref (5.1%), South Darfur (4.9%), South Kordofan (3.6%), North Darfur (2.3%), and Al Gezira (1.7%). These refugees are mainly from neighbouring countries: South Sudan (736,685), Eritrea (122,465), the Syrian Arab Republic (93,498), Ethiopia (69,849), the Central African Republic (26, 930), Chad (3,507), and Yemen (1,938). The South Sudanese refugee population nearly doubled since 2018 and many of them remain vulnerable to forced labour and sex trafficking. Sudan is also witnessing a recent influx of Ethiopian refugees fleeing violence in Tigray, with over 60,000 refugees as of January 17, 2021. A total of 30,771 refugees have been relocated from Hamdayet and Abdrafi and Village 8 to the refugee camps at Um Raquba (20,572 people) and Tunaydbah (10,199 people).

V. Victims of Human Trafficking

Sudan has been associated with human trafficking since the 1980s because of its strategic position, which makes the country a hub for trafficking networks. Human trafficking also benefits from government corruption and an unchecked military. Sudan is a Tier 2 Watch List country according to the 2020 trafficking in persons report by the United States Department of State as it “does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so.” Data on human trafficking are insufficient; despite efforts from authorities to prosecute more suspected traffickers and the launch of a national action plan. Officials lack training to identify and protect victims of trafficking. The capacity of officials has also been diminished by the personnel turnover of 2019. The following data on trafficking in Sudan are therefore not exhaustive.

In 2018, the government reportedly investigated 150 trafficking cases, prosecuting 30 of those cases and convicting 45 traffickers. In August 2018, almost 100 victims of trafficking were rescued by Operation Sawiyan, which is run by INTERPOL and Sudanese police officials, of which 85 were children. In 2019-2020, the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking (NCCHT) reported that authorities investigated and prosecuted 97 potential traffickers for crimes involving sexual exploitation and forced labour, and that 5 traffickers were convicted. The National Council for Child Welfare provided shelter and medical services to 84 potential child trafficking victims from Eritrea and Ethiopia in 2019. The government has decreased overall protection efforts and identified fewer victims. The authorities identified 1,200 potential victims in 2019, but did not report identifying or reintegrating any child soldiers. 

Traffickers exploit homeless children in Khartoum in forced labour for begging, public transportation, large markets, and in sex trafficking, including Sudanese and unaccompanied migrant children from West and Central Africa. Children are also exploited in brick-making factories, gold mining, collecting medical waste, street vending, and agriculture. These children are exposed to threats, physical and sexual abuse, as well as hazardous working conditions with limited access to education and health services. Criminal groups exploit Sudanese women and girls in domestic work and in sex trafficking, particularly in situations of internal displacement and in rural settings. Sudanese government officials are also highly corrupt. Law enforcement and border officers were complicit in, or profited from, trafficking crimes specifically related to exploiting migrants along Sudan’s borders. In May 2019, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a semi-autonomous paramilitary branch of the government’s security apparatus, allegedly recruited 87 child soldiers between the ages of 14 and 17 years old in order to forcibly disperse anti-government crowds under the former military-led government.

VI. National Legal Framework

The Sudan legal framework of migration demonstrates efforts towards addressing migration-related issues, but its implementation is rather unsatisfactory. The main legislation on immigration is the 1994 Passports and Immigration Act. The refugee legal framework relies mainly on the 1974 Regulation of the Asylum Act. This Act has been deemed to be more detailed than most African refugee legislation and includes solutions to many refugee problems. Yet, the Act does not mention how asylum seekers can appeal negative decisions. It likewise forbids refugees from taking part in or exercising any political activity or from leaving the place of residence that has been specified for them. Article 7 of the Act “obliges competent or concerned authorities to give due consideration to any treaty or convention regulating asylum to which Sudan is a party.” Sudan is party to the UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees of 1951 and its 1967 Protocol (accession in 1974), as well as the 1969 OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa (ratification in 1972). 

Regarding human trafficking and exploitation of migrants, in 2014 the Sudanese parliament voted the 2014 Combating of Human Trafficking Act, Sudan’s first law to deal specifically with human trafficking. This law criminalises some forms of sex trafficking and some forms of labour trafficking but failed to define what constituted exploitation. Gaps still exists in the government’s capacity to combat human trafficking, and Sudan’s anti-trafficking legal framework remains inconsistent with international law because it requires a demonstration of force, fraud, or coercion to constitute a child sex trafficking offense. Article 4 of the 2007 Sudan Armed Forces Act criminalises recruiting children by members of the armed forces, enslaving civilians, or coercing civilians into prostitution, and prescribed penalties ranging from 3 years’ imprisonment to the death penalty. The 2008 Domestic Workers Act provides a legal framework for employing and registering domestic workers with limited labour rights and protections, but the government did not report registering or protecting any domestic workers under the law as of June 2020.

Sudan is also a signatory to several regional conventions and treaties regarding migration. These include the Abuja Treaty establishing the African Economic Community (AEC), which states in Article 4 that freedom of movement of persons is a sine qua non condition for the establishment of an African common market. Sudan has also signed the 1981 African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which authorizes free movement and choice of residence within a member state of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and prohibits the collective expulsion of foreigners. Sudan is also part of a European Union-Horn of Africa inter-regional forum on migration, known as the Khartoum process, which has created a political platform between the EU and North and East African countries on the migration route between the Horn of Africa and Europe. However, Sudan is not party to the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (Kampala Convention) of 2009.

Finally, Sudan is party to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime of 2000 (ratification in 2004), including its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (accession in 2014) and its Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea, and Air (accession in 2018, though Sudan “does not consider itself bound by the provisions of Article (20) Paragraph (2) of the Protocol”). However, Sudan is not party to the UN Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons of 1954 or the UN Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness of 1961. Sudan is the only state that is party to eight International Human Rights Treaties and is not a signatory to the International Convention of the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families of 1990.

VII. Main Actors

The State

The institutions of the Sudanese government that are involved in the management of migration are the Ministry of Interior, the National Security and Intelligence Service (NSIS), the Ministry of Labour Public Service and Human Resource Development and its Sudan Centre for Migration, the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Investments, the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, the Ministry of Social Welfare and Children, and the National Council for Child Care. National bodies for the management of refugees include the National Council for the Welfare of Refugees and the Office of the Commission of Refugees. Moreover, the following government agencies partner with the UNHCR in assisting and protecting refugees and asylum seekers: the Humanitarian Aid Commission; Commissioner for Refugees; Gedaref State authorities; the Commission for Voluntary and Humanitarian Works; the Ministry of Social Affairs (South Darfur); Ministry of Social Development, Women, and Child Affairs (South Kordofan); Ministry of Social Welfare for Child Protection (Kassala); Ministry of Social Welfare and Humanitarian Affairs (Blue Nile); Refugee Counselling Services; and the Directorate of Nationality, Passports, and Immigration. 

The Commission of Refugees (COR) is the main national executive and administrative body for refugee determination, with regional offices all over Sudan. The COR is in charge of determining the legal status of asylum seekers, registering and issuing identification documents, and providing relief to refugees, as well as accommodating them in camps and guaranteeing the provision of health and social care. The COR is also responsible for approving agreements concerning the voluntary return of refugees, and facilitating international support in coordination with UNHCR and other UN agencies. According to the 1974 Regulation of the Asylum Act, the power to decide on asylum applications is given to the Minister of the Interior. Regarding child trafficking, the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) officials launched a unit to lead the government’s child protection efforts in conflict areas and provided training for more than 5,000 members of its military on child protection issues, including child soldiers.

The Catholic Church

Sudan forms one ecclesiastical province, consisting of one archdiocese and one suffragan diocese. Caritas Sudan (Sudanaid) was founded in 1972. It has played a major role in emergency aid, social welfare, and the development of Sudan. The national office is currently non-operational. However, Caritas Internationalis continues to provide relief and development operations through the dioceses of El Obeid and Khartoum and through its programmes in Darfur. In camps, families receive health care, food, water, and other essentials funded through Caritas and the ACT Alliance of Protestant and Orthodox Church organisations. Catholic Relief Services also serves more than 600,000 people in Khartoum and Darfur, mainly people fleeing from conflict and natural disaster. 

Among the religious congregations operating in Sudan are the Comboni Missionaries and the Comboni Missionary Sisters, which both assist migrants, refugees, and IDPs. While assisting and supporting the most vulnerable, these two congregations run schools and education programs to ensure the education of those who are not able to afford it, especially displaced children that fled the conflict in Darfur and the Nuba Mountains. 

International Organisations

International organisations related to migration in Sudan include the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which ensures protection and assistance to refugees and returnees, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) with the Return, Reintegration, and Recovery (RRR) section, and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). IOM assists and fosters the Sudanese government’s efforts to establish an orderly, safe, and responsible migration governance system with stronger legal and policy strategies and frameworks that will help manage regular and irregular migration flows into, through and from Sudan. IOM Sudan runs 7 field offices. IOM Sudan extended its geographical coverage as of 2017 to areas that were previously inaccessible due to security or other factors. The humanitarian assistance provided included improved emergency and transitional shelters, non-food items, health and nutrition support, as well as water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services, which catered to the emergency needs of IDPs, returnees, resettlement of refugees. Assistance was also provided in finding durable solutions for host communities and other vulnerable affected populations. 

IOM Sudan has deployed Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM)’s teams, which provide vital info and data to the wider humanitarian community in order to enhance the coordination, planning, and implementation of the humanitarian response. IOM Sudan also runs four nutrition clinics in Darfur. In October 2015, IOM established the Migrant Resource and Response Centre (MRRC) in Khartoum, which provides different services such as medical assistance and psychosocial information on risks of irregular migration, as well as assisting in the voluntary return and reintegration of migrants who are stranded in Sudan. Through the Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration’s program, 207 migrants were assisted in order to voluntarily return to their countries of origin between January and June 2017.

VIII. Other Important Issues

As of January 17, 2021, Sudan registered 26,083 people who had contracted COVID-19 as well as 1,722 related deaths. The majority of cases were located in the Khartoum State. Measures to fight the virus were introduced in March 2020, including restrictions on travel through the closure of airports and points of entry (PoE) along land borders and maritime boundaries, as well as domestic mobility restrictions. 

According to the persecution watchdog group Open Doors USA, Sudan ranks 13th among the 50 most dangerous countries for Christians, with the label “very high persecution.”