Using extensive interviews with refugees, confidential sources in Sudan as well as reporting in Egypt and Sudan, News Deeply examines the extent to which the Sudanese government is involved in the same smuggling and trafficking networks it is being paid by the E.U. to contain.

In the last four years, it reports, Sudan has gone from being a pariah state to an E.U. partner on countering migration.

Roughly one-quarter of the refugees and migrants who cross to Italy from north Africa have transited Sudan. Under the Khartoum Process, begun in 2014, Sudan has received $122 million under an instrument called Special Measure for Sudan, a measure to counter migration to E.U. Sudan is also receiving money from a variety of other E.U. funds, including support for its security sector.

According to the report, “This money goes to the same regime in Khartoum, whose legacy includes civil wars which eventually split the country, and who are accused of genocide in Darfur and crimes against humanity in South Kordofan and Blue Nile state.

“Sudan is now being invited to European countries like Belgium to repatriate refugees who have fled.

“Recently, the U.S. has eased sanctions on Sudan, and E.U. members, including the Netherlands, U.K., Poland, Hungary, Italy and Germany, have established diplomatic links with the regime.”

Read the report