Al Jazeera speaks to ‘Ahmed,’ a well-known people smuggler used by many young Ethiopians searching for a new life.
The number of deaths of migrants attempting the perilous journey to Europe in search of a better life has dramatically increased over the past few months.
Al Jazeera spoke to ‘Ahmed,’ a well known people trafficking broker who many young Ethiopians in Addis Ababa have used to try and get to Europe.
Al Jazeera: Hello, I got your number from Gagi, sir.
AJ: I am calling you to know about migration routes, sir.
Ahmed: From where shall you start your journey?
AJ: From Addis [Ababa] – what do I need?
Ahmed: If you want to go to Sudan legally, you’ll need a visa from the Sudan embassy. If you want to cross without one – there are a lot of brokers in Metema [an Ethiopian border town with Sudan].
AJ: Either way, Shall I go to Metema by car?
Ahmed: If you are legal, you just get the bus and go. If you don’t have a visa there are mini buses that come to Addis every day at midnight. They will take you to Metema – ‘t’s a day’s journey.
AJ: Which is better?
Ahmed: If you want to travel faster, our way is better and more comfortable.
AJ: How much money do I need to get to Metema from Addis?
Ahmed: About 500 birr ($25).
AJ: To Metema? How about a visa and other things?
Ahmed: If you use us, you don’t need more than that to reach Metema, but if you use the legal channels there are passport, visa, travel insurance fees. There’s also an interview at the Sudanese embassy where you might pay up to 4000 birr ($200). Because of the problem now, the price might have increased.