Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Braving bullets: Eritreans on first step of dangerous journey to Europe

(Sep 15, 2015, (AFP))--Endabaguna (Ethiopia) (AFP) - Every day they come, hundreds of refugees sneaking across the river, risking being shot on sight as they flee their homeland of Eritrea for arch-rival Ethiopia.

Eritrea is no war zone, yet the people of this Horn of Africa nation make up the third-largest number of migrants risking the dangerous journey to Europe, after Syrians and Afghans, running the gauntlet of ruthless people smugglers and treacherous waters.

But for the refugees who arrive exhausted after fleeing the hardline rule in the hermetic Red Sea state, this is only the first step in a long, tough and extremely dangerous journey in search of basic freedoms and a better life.

On average, around 100 people cross each day, but numbers have risen dramatically in the past year, said Sahle Teklemariam, who coordinates the Ethiopian government's refugee agency ARRA work here, in the far northeastern Shire region. Read more from AFP »

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