Border Control from Hell
Large-scale migration to Europe has precipitated a paradigm shift in relations between the European Union (EU) and the government of Sudan, and closer ties between both entities. This new partnership has resulted in the EU disbursing millions of euros to the Sudanese government for technical equipment and training efforts geared toward stopping the flow to Europe of migrants from Sudan and those from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, and other countries in sub-Saharan Africa who come through Sudan.
The EU’s action plan will involve building the capacities of Sudan’s security and law enforcement agencies, including a paramilitary group known as the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), which has been branded as Sudan’s primary “border force.” The EU will assist the RSF and other relevant agencies with the construction of two camps with detention facilities for migrants. The EU will also equip these Sudanese border forces with cameras, scanners, and electronic servers for registering refugees.
There are legitimate concerns with these plans. Much of the EU-funded training and equipment is dual-use. The equipment that enables identification and registration of migrants will also reinforce the surveillance capabilities of a Sudanese government that has violently suppressed Sudanese citizens for the past 28 years.
Sudan’s strategy for stopping migrant flows on behalf of Europe involves a ruthless crackdown by the RSF on migrants within Sudan. Dogged by persistent armed uprisings led by opponents protesting chronic inequalities in the distribution of national wealth and political power in its periphery regions, the Sudanese government has always relied on a plethora of militia groups to counter insurgencies. The RSF is one of these militia groups. It evolved from the disparate Janjaweed militias that carried out the genocidal counterinsurgency policy of the Sudanese regime in Darfur that began in 2003. However, in its functions and evolution, the RSF differs significantly from other militia groups employed by the government.
|Full title||Border Control from Hell. How the EU's migration partnership legitimizes Sudan's "militia state"|
|Media type||Report / PDF|
|Topics||European Externalization Policies & Cash Flows, Border and Surveillance Technology & Industry, Detention, Deportation & Pushbacks|
|Regions||East & Horn of Africa|