Fact: Groups of refugees are passed between many traffickers, each demanding money. Travel is in open trucks; you must push if the truck gets stuck in the sand; and if someone gets hurt and cannot walk, or falls off the truck, the person is left behind to die. There is little or no food or water provided on the trip. You may be forced to shoot at police if they see the truck. Travel is often at night when it is very cold.
Myth: Once you get to the Israel border, everything is copacetic.
Fact: If you should make it to the border, you will likely be shot at and wounded or killed by Egyptian police. At best you are imprisoned under deplorable conditions.
Myth: If Egyptian Bedouins get us, they will pass us along until we get to the border.
Fact: Many, many refugees are detained by bad Bedouins in torture camps near the border. There, the refugees are tortured with hot irons and electric shock to make them tell where ransom money may be obtained. They are treated like animals in chains, women abused, only enough food and water to keep them alive. In some cases, body parts may be taken to be sold.
Myth: As long as you are a duly registered refugee by humanitarian organization you have less worry not to be kidnapped by smugglers and in fact a potential candidate for resettlement in a third country.
Fact: Most jailed in Egypt and held hostage in the Sinai are refugees with a UNHCR card. You may be enticed to take a job when in fact you are sold to the highest bidder. Refugees have to protect themselves at every turn of the way.
Myth: There are Eritrean nationals in the Sudan and Ethiopia who will offer to help; and even the Eritrean embassy in Sudan who will provide an Eritrean passport if you need one.
Fact: In neighboring countries where finding jobs is difficult and life is extremely harsh some Eritreans resort to criminal ways by associating themselves with Human traffickers. You need to be careful.
The Eritrean Embassy in Khartoum issues passports provided you pay hefty sum of money which includes the mandatory 2% income tax. In Khartoum, Eritrean Passports are sold at 900 SDG( 300 Dollars) and the ID Cards are about 270 SDG (88 Dollars).
More Facts: Keep in mind that the UNHCR in Sudan is so overwhelmed with refugee cases, that it can take months to verify and register you as a refugee and then provide protection. Many refugees in Sudan who have not yet been registered are kidnapped and sold to begin the ordeal of trafficking and extortion. And new torture camps like those in the Sinai have started up in the Kassala area.