South Sudanese refugees in White Nile State in Sudan say they are being arrested and detained by police in Kosti Town.
The Governor of White Nile says the arrests are over security reasons.
Some South Sudanese have told Eye Radio that they are arrested on the streets of Kosti and taken to prison, where they spend a couple of days.
One of those arrested said he was later taken out of prison to a refugee camp outside the town.
The victim, who chose not to be named for security reasons, said he was told that his arrest was to avoid security threats.
“There, the government of Sudan is arresting South Sudanese in Kosti Town, in the streets and markets, and you can spend three to four days in the prison and from there they will take you to the refugee camps outside the town,” he said.
“I am one of those people who were arrested .These arrests are still going on and one prison can take 50 people and there are three prisons, specifically for South Sudanese,” he added.
The man said that women “sometimes women can stay outside the prison and also there are lactating mothers and old people.”
“Even my father was arrested and they cannot threaten the state security because they are saying these arrests are because of security threats and it reached to young girls and youths,” he said.
The Governor of White Nile State in Sudan has confirmed the arrests.
Abdul Hamid Musa told Eye Radio that the arrests of South Sudanese are over “security reasons”.
“Of course, those South Sudanese, we are considering them as refugees according to the system of the high refugees’ commission in Sudan,” he said, referring to a body that manages refugees in Sudan.
“There is a system of movement through visas and passports for foreigners. I didn’t see anything bad in this move,” he said.
“For me,” the governor said, “it is a normal process and is not an annoying procedure because we didn’t close the border in front of them.”
“They are supposed to be in the refugee camps so that security defects cannot happen.”
For its part, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Juba says it is trying to resolve the issue through diplomatic means.
“We are actually asking Sudan through our diplomatic relations that our South Sudanese citizens who are in Sudan, based on the treatment we have between us, are supposed to be treated fairly and well, especially if they are in the towns,” said Ambassador Mawien Makol, the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“So we are urging that any security target against people of South Sudan should be handled with care because these people are innocent citizens that are going with their lives, without any reason for committing any acts that are violating the rule and regulations of those towns,” he said.
Last week, the Commissioner of the Refugees Council in Sudan, Hamd El-Jazoli, told reporters in Khartoum that the movement of refugees from the camps to towns in Whiate Nile State would be restricted.
At the time, the South Sudanese embassy in Khartoum told the press that it was not notified of the restriction.
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