The delegation from the Norwegian embassy was well received by the State Government and they arranged a meeting with the technical committee on migration of the North State lead by the governor. The technical committee is consisting of representatives from all sectors working on migration issues; state prosecutor/ courts, police, armed forces, customs, health, social services, women and children, Sudanese red crescent etc.
The embassy had a separate meeting with the migration services (SAF and police) particularly on how the people smugglers are caught and how they operate. We also had a meeting with the Sudan Red Crescent on the humanitarian side of migration. Sudan Red crescent is hoping to open a migrant center in Dongola where migrants that are intercepted by the police or army on their way to the border, can be hosted until their departure to Khartoum. Sudan Red crescent is doing an excellent work with the migrants, but funding is a problem. The Norwegian delegation also had an interesting meeting with a group of young migrants just arrived from Ethiopia, telling us their stories, where they worked and which plans they had for the future.
The embassy visited two gold mines/ gold mining sites, where migrants from Eritrea and Ethiopia are working in the “hospitality services”, running latrines, showers and small restaurants. The actual miners are coming from all over Sudan; (only Sudanese can get a mining license). They are attracted to the mines in hopes of make good money. The health conditions at the mining sites are not good though, with no garbage collection or public services in water and sewage, the spread of watery diarrhea- has been a problem earlier.