There are an estimated 518,000 people living in modern slavery in Egypt, 465,000 in Sudan and an estimated 451,000 in Eritrea (GSI 2018). Since 2006 tens of thousands of Eritreans fleeing widespread human rights abuses and destitution have ended up in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Until 2010, they passed through Sinai voluntarily and generally without any problems and crossed in to Israel. However, since then, Sudanese traffickers have kidnapped Eritreans in eastern Sudan and sold them to Egyptian traffickers in Sinai who have subjected at least hundreds to violence in order to extort large sums of money from their relatives.
Kidane* fled Eritrea on April 3, 2012, when local Sudanese people from the Hadarib tribe stopped him and handed him over to “Rashaida.” After which he was held for two weeks under ransom.
They held me for two weeks in the desert with 155 other Eritreans. They said they would shoot me if I didn’t pay $2,000. They beat some of the others to force them to pay the same. Next door to where they held me there were women who often screamed and I thought they were being raped.
Narrative provided by Human Rights Watch in their report “I Wanted to Lie Down and Die”: Trafficking and Torture of Eritreans in Sudan and Egypt