Khartoum, Cairo in diplomatic row over shooting of 15 migrants

Tuesday November 17 2015

A diplomatic row has erupted between Sudan and Egypt following reports that 15 illegal Sudanese migrants were killed while crossing the border from Egypt to Israel.

According to Egyptian state-owned media reports, the Sudanese nationals were shot dead by Egyptian police on Sunday in the troubled Sinai peninsula as they attempted to cross into Israel.

The Egyptian government has not officially commented on the reports.

The Sudanese ministry of foreign affairs spokesman Ali al-Sadig said they have asked the Egyptian authorities to confirm whether the reports were true.

He warned that the Sudanese government will not tolerate any humiliation of Sudanese nationals in Egypt.

''We will not allow anybody to humiliate the Sudanese people; we are in close contact with our embassy in Cairo to monitor the situation of the Sudanese people there,'' Mr Al-Sadig told reporters in Khartoum.


Street searches

The Sudan parliament and the country's embassy in Cairo have lately complained against what they consider the mistreatment of Sudanese nationals living in Egypt.

Sudanese residents in Egypt claim that they are subjected to street stops and searches by police, with some charging that their money is seized in the process.

A Sudanese foreign ministry memo sent to the Egyptian government complained that the alleged bad treatment by police and national security forces against Sudanese nationals had recently increased.

The memo termed the conduct unacceptable and inconsistent with the deep ties and agreements signed between the two nations.

The Egyptian reports on the Sinai incident disclosed that Egyptian border police shot the migrants when they ignored warnings not to cross the border fence.

Besides the six killed, eight others were injured and eight arrested.

Sinai has been witnessing an insurgency by ISIS-affiliated terrorist groups against the Egyptian government ever since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsy in 2013.