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Africa: Long Waits, Soaring Costs At Egypt-Sudan Border

Wadi Halfa — Wadi Halfa in Sudan’s Northern State is struggling to cope with an increasing number of people hoping to cross the border into Egypt, who now outnumber the city’s own population. The dire humanitarian crisis, visa complexities, healthcare challenges, and rising costs, has left thousands in distress.

Around 30 buses arrive daily from various Sudanese cities, exacerbating the situation, listeners say. Radio Dabanga. As previously reported, dire humanitarian conditions prevail at the Wadi Halfa and Argeen border crossings into Egypt, as well as at other border crossings to Ethiopia and South Sudan. Several deaths, including elderly women and children, have been attributed to dehydration, heat stroke, and infections from potentially contaminated water.

Notably In Wadi Halfa, the city’s hotels are packed with travellers. This surge in demand has led to exorbitant rental prices, ranging from SDG 50,000 to SDG 100,000 a day. The local guest house has been exclusively allocated to foreigners, according to listener Said Abuammar.

Travel fares between Wadi Halfa and Aswan have skyrocketed, sometimes reportedly as high as SDG 150,000. Prices have now reduced to between SDG 25,000 and SDG 40,000 after authorities and the local security committee intervened.

Visa complexities

Obtaining an entry visa at the Egyptian consulate in Wadi Halfa is a time-consuming process, particularly for men aged 16 to 50. It’s been reported that there can be delays of up to two weeks for the visa application, and an additional two weeks before it is issued, causing frustration among the waiting crowds.