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News: Southern region police apprehend officer suspected of trafficking 48 Eritrean nationals to Kenya

Addis Abeba – The Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s (SNNP) regional state Police Commission has announced that a member of the South Omo Zone Police suspected of trafficking 48 Eritrean nationals, including children, to Kenya has been detained.

Deputy Commander Taju Negash, the head of the media department of the SNNP Police Commission, told a local radio that, the suspect, Deputy Inspector Aytenw Mekonnen is a technical officer in the traffic department of the zonal police. He was caught in Hamer Woreda of South Omo zone allegedly attempting to transport the Eritrean victims of trafficking to the Kenyan border in an Isuzu truck. The report did not mention where the victims initially came from.

Of the 48 Eritreans, 23 are men, 20 women and five children. The truck driver and an assistant, along with the police officer, were intercepted by the zonal police and the regional special forces on 18 October at around 10:00 PM local time.

Deputy Commander Taju further said that as the South Omo zone borders Ethiopia with Kenya and South Sudan, the area sees human trafficking and illegal business activities take place, which prompts the special forces of the region and the police of the zone to conduct strict control in the border area.

The Deputy Commander said that the regional police commission will hand over the Eritrean victims of trafficking to the federal police and will launch an investigation into the police officer and two individuals who were apprehended with the officer. AS

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