3rd and Final part
Escape from Shagarab refugee camp to Khartoum
After nearly a month, a girl named Lewam came to the refugee center, where I was staying. We got introduced to each other. Since she came in the very hard time I was going through, I felt that God has sent her to me to help overcome the difficulties I faced. The young girl exclaimed when she saw the place, “It is not as I expected it to be.” And we began to talk about the situation.
“Yes, you are right. We did not all expect it to be like this, but what can we do? We do not have other option. It is difficult to be out of here, and even if we leave, I do not have money for travel to Khartoum. My family is poor”, I said to her. My situation made her feel sympathetic with me.
“No problem, we will search for options”, she replied trying to raise my spirit. Then she added “after three days, we will leave for Khartoum.” Then I said to her, “I do not have money, how can I leave?”
“Do not worry, I will pay for you”, She replied. I felt very happy for her promise. She also informed me about the plan on how to escape from the camp. She told me, “There are people, who came with me and they [camp authorities] have gave them accommodation in the other houses. They will come to take us.” It was usual If a person is older than you, can take you out from the refuge place by inventing an excuse. Next day after lunch, at about 2:00 pm, the girls she mentioned came and took permission from the person in charge to let us stay with them during the day but we the condition they bring us come back in the evening to our place. The person in charge agreed to let us go and at 2:30 pm we went to the girls’ place. After staying with the girls the whole day, we began our journey to Khartoum at 7:30 pm, on 15 December 2011.
First, we had to cross the dam near the camp. And under a state of fear and tension, we headed towards the dam. While were afraid not to fall in the hands of the Sudanese intelligence agents, we rushed and at 9:00 pm we reached at the dam. The view of the dam was very scary because it was dark and silent, and if any accident happened to us, we would not find anyone who would rescue us. Because I was very scared and fingers were crossed, for the small man powered boats aboard which we crossed the dam were unsafe. The overcrowding made them even more unsafe for eight people were squeezed on each boat.
Even the smugglers themselves were very scared because, if there happened any delay, the intelligence/security forces could find them, and thus they were ordering us to be on board the small boats quickly. We had to do that lest not to abandon us in the dark and scary dam. It took us about 45 minutes to cross the dam and after we walked on foot for half an hour, we took rest at a place with many stones. After relaxing for three hours, we hurried to the road, where the pick-up car was ready to transport us to Khartoum and we reached there after half an hour walking. We were 23 people squeezed on the car and the trip was very dangerous and difficult, because of the speed with which the car was moving in the desert. Then, after a journey of five hours, we reached at a village known as “Hajer” exactly at 12:00 pm and there, they locked us in one house. After four hours of rest 5:00 pm, we got on the pick-up vehicle and continued our journey to Khartoum.
We travelled a long journey in the rural areas to enter Khartoum but before we reach the city, they divided us into groups continued our trip aboard two mini buses to Khartoum.
We arrived in Khartoum safely at 9:30 PM and the smugglers briefly held us in a semi-villa house. Then, from that house, each one of us left to join family members, relative and friends. Life in Khartoum was not as I expected and Khartoum was not a safe place. Because there are criminals who claim to be policemen and intercept and loot refugees, and specially they are dangerous to women, because they rape [refugee] women.
Escape to Uganda
After staying about a year in Khartoum, I moved to Juba, South Sudan on the 25th of January 2013. We travelled from Khartoum in pick-up vehicle assisted by smugglers. And after a seven-day trip, which was alternated with boat trips; we entered the town of ‘Wau” in the state of South Sudan. And after a long journey, we also travelled from Wau to the capital Juba by a cargo truck. I started working in Juba two days later and after working for about two years in Juba I moved to Uganda. I arrived in Kampala, Uganda on the 26th of February 2016 and to this day I am living in Kampala. I am here as an asylum seeker which involves renewal of my asylum seeker letter every three months.