European politicians, under pressure to reduce the exodus of African refugees, have now begun providing equipment and training to the security forces of Sudan, whose President is wanted for war crimes, says Der Spiegel.

The magazine says it has seen leaked documents from talks that took place on 23 March between the ambassadors of 28 EU member states. The diplomats discussed a classified plan to work with African dictators to stop the refugee flows to Europe.

The plan includes supplying equipment to register refugees inside Sudan, in addition to training their border police, although a General with Sudan’s Interior Ministry told der Spiegel that technology would not just be used to register refugees, but also all Sudanese.

An important refugee route runs through Sudan, with migrants from Eritrea, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Central African Republic all seeking to make their way via Khartoum to Libya, where they catch boats to Europe.

Former BBC Africa Editor, Martin Plaut, reporting on November’s EU-African summit in Malta, said the summit’s action plan showed intention to work with African leaders “no matter how unsavoury some of them might be”.

Sudan ranks 8th in the 2016 Open Doors’ World Watch List of countries where it is most difficult to live as a Christian.