REFUGEES have been crossing the border between Eritrea and Sudan for more than 40 years.
The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, estimates that northern Sudan houses more than 100,000 Eritrean refugees, but over the years the profile of these migrants has changed.
Those escaping the Eritrean war of independence in the 1960s tended to settle in Sudan, some even gaining Sudanese nationality.
In recent years, however, refugees have increasingly been using Sudan as a transit country before moving north – often as part of the diaspora fleeing North Africa to Europe, with all the dangers involved in crossing the Mediterranean.
Eritrea is not an easy country to get out of. So emigrants often fall prey to the shady world of middlemen, brokers and smugglers making easy money out of people desperate to leave.
In Between the desert and the fire, we explore what continues to drive Eritreans from their own country; the poor conditions they often encounter in refugee camps across the border; and the smuggling and human trafficking surrounding them. We also look at the pressure the Sudanese government and international aid agencies are under in dealing with the problems that arise.