By VITTORIO LONGHI
Tigrai Online, Oct. 4, 2014
State workers earn an average monthly salary of 500 nakfa (about $15 at the black market rate) and represent cheap labor for both the public and private sectors, especially in mining and construction, where Chinese investments are growing. Many Eritreans rely on informal work to feed their families. In Massawa, once a major port on the Red Sea, Awate Tsegay rents his car to foreigners and hopes to earn enough money to cross the border and join his brothers in Sudan. “Military officers ask up to $1,000 per person to hide you in a car so that you can get through safely,” he said.
The government tacitly encourages illegal migration, recently introducing a 2 percent tax on remittances from abroad.
Once in Sudan, Eritreans avoid the police and take any job available, until they can hire a trafficker to take them to Libya or Egypt, where they can attempt the sea crossing to Europe. The desert crossing is perilous, and many refugees fall victim to torture and organ harvesting.
Meanwhile, President Afewerki, who has ruled for 20 years, still plays the role of the victim.
Read the whole article in The New York Times - http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/10/04/opinion/hidden-oppression-in-eritrea.html?_r=1