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Nada Ramadan

UN 'troubled' by killing of Sudanese migrants in Egypt

The UN statement came as Egyptian-Sudanese relations have been strained [AFP]

Date of publication: 26 November, 2015

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The UN Secretary General was "deeply troubled" by the killing of five Sudanese migrants by Egyptian troops his spokesman said Wednesday as he called for full investigation.

The Egyptian foreign ministry has criticised concerns expressed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon over the recent killing of at least five Sudanese migrants attempting to cross into Israel from North Sinai on Monday.

"It is unfortunate to maintain precipitous statements and criticisms without relying on accurate information or referring to official statements by the Egyptian government," read the ministry's statement.

The Egyptian response came after Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for the UN Secretary General, said he was "deeply troubled" by reports of the killing of five Sudanese migrants, urging the Egyptian authorities to launch a full investigation in order to shed light into the tragic events, ensure accountability, and prevent their recurrence.

The ministry urged the UN chief to revisit an army statement that explained that Egyptian troops were encountering illegal migrants who did not yield to warning shots by military forces and began with shooting at the Egyptian security forces, wounding a soldier.

The ministry also suggested it was not acceptable to criticise Egypt's border security measures while the world was witnessing a remarkable surge in terrorist operations, which according to the ministry requires enhanced border security to prevent infiltration by terrorist elements and the smuggling of weapons.

The shooting came a week after 15 other Sudanese migrants were also shot dead on the same border.

Earlier this month, the Sudanese embassy in Cairo submitted a memo to the Egyptian foreign ministry inquiring about a recent surge in the abuse and mistreatment by security forces in Egypt.

The memo mentioned that there had been frequent complaints by Sudanese travellers who claimed that they had been stopped in Cairo streets by the police, who even reportedly seized their money in the process.

Sudan has also lodged a complaint recently to the UN Security Council, after Egypt held elections on territory disputed between the two countries, according to Sudanese foreign minister Ibrahim Ghandour.

However, Egyptian foreign ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zaid said that FM Sameh Shoukry had spoken to Ghandour over the phone on Tuesday to stress "the importance of being vigilant against any attempts to disturb Egyptian-Sudanese relations", as well as "the need to continue to provide utmost care for citizens of the two countries located in either side".

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