Friday, October 02, 2015

How Ethiopia has cracked down on people smugglers

(Oct 02, 2015, (BBC))--Metema, in Ethiopia's north-west, was once a people smuggler's paradise. It was from here that Haimanot, aged just 16, gathered all her belongings, borrowed 3,000 Ethiopian birr ($140; £95) and crossed the border into Sudan in search of a better life.

She travelled at first on foot under cover of darkness and with the help of an Ethiopian smuggler, who had promised to take her first to Sudan's capital Khartoum, then on to Libya.

"I was not in school and I could not find a job here in Ethiopia, so I decided to make the journey to Europe to try and make something out of myself," she tells me. But she never made it out of Sudan.

Migrant magnet
Haimanot's story is not unique in Metema, where nearly everyone we spoke to knew of friends, relatives or neighbours who had crossed the border in the hope of a better life in Europe. Many Eritreans - one of the largest groups of migrants reaching Europe - would also pass through the town. Read more from BBC »

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