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East Sudan, a first step for Eritrea’s Europe-bound migrants FEATURE 03/11/2010

Thursday, March 11, 2010


East Sudan, a first step for Eritrea’s Europe-bound migrants


FEATURE

03/11/2010

SHEGERAB — Fleeing a military regime, thousands of young Eritreans stream into neighboring east Sudan, the first stage of their long migration to Europe, Israel — or even Khartoum.
For four decades refugees from Eritrea have flowed into eastern Sudan, a dirt-poor region enriched only by golden, sun-beaten plains that unfurl until they hit the rocky, majestic peaks of the Taka mountains.

In the past few years a new wave of refugees has been arriving here, the “jediddine” or newcomers in Arabic. They are young, educated Eritreans as well as Ethiopians and Somalis who make Sudan their launching pad toward to a new life.

“I was a student, but the government wanted to force me into the Army, which I did not want to do. I wanted to study,” said Mukhtar, his bright eyes shining thorough stylish glasses.

Eritrean men and women are forced to serve a minimum 18 months of military service, after which they can be conscripted indefinitely — a draconian measure that has pushed many young to flee.... MORE


SourceThe Daily Tribune

ALTERNATE URL: http://www.tribune.net.ph/commentary/20100311com3.html


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