Migration from Sub-Saharan Africa to the North Mediterranean Countries. A file that has long been associated with the name of (Libya) in recent years. Migrants in Libya see as this golden gate, which allows them to cross the sea to escape the hell of poverty and war in their countries to countries that provide them with a decent life.
A journey may seem easy, to begin with, but this trip contains many surprises and risks.
Migrants crossing from Libya across its southern border, which has not been stable for years. After a long dangerous trip through Libyan cities, they find themselves in front of three options: either risk crossing the sea in one of the unsafe smugglers' boats, or returning home via the same equally dangerous road through the desert, or staying in Libya in look for work.
In all these cases, migrants often end up in detention centers allocated by the Libyan state to group migrants and try to find logical solutions for them.
Thousands of migrants live in these centers, and because of their large numbers, they are living in difficult conditions due to the lack of places where they are held and the limited facilities provided by these centers, making their lives a nightmare.
Now, the immigrants who aspired to reach Europe to have a decent life, are between two hard choices, either staying in these centers and live in unsuitable conditions or return home and go back to poverty and wars there in his country.
The 18-year-old Ethiopian, who found herself with her husband, who fled the horrors of war in her country inside a (prison bars), as described Hawa a shelter in Tripoli.
Hawa escaped the horrors of war in her country with her husband after she lost her entire family there as a result of the war, and because of the bad conditions she experienced she could not complete her studies, she only studied until the tenth grade.
Hawa says that after leaving Ethiopia to Libya, she did not have the dream of reaching the European coasts, as many migrants do. She only wanted to survive war, work and have a normal life in a safe place.
Hawa continues to talk about what happened to her in Libya and says she is working as a housemaid in order to earn her day.
Where she tells us the details of her arrest after she took days off from work in one of the houses of the Libyans, and moved with her husband to a new place of residence in the area (Qargarish) and after only ten days, one of the armed groups broke into their accommodation and took them to the center of illegal immigrants , Asserting that they were not aware of any problems in their new place and that they did not do anything wrong, all they were doing is work in houses.
When asked about her desire to return to her country, she said that if she returned she would surely die because of the war there and would not find a place to hide after she had lost all her family. Hawa says:
I left my country to live in this world
Eve says she has no dream in this world. She only wants to go to a Muslim country where she can live and work, like the Gulf states. When she came to Libya, she did not expect to face all these problems and end up behind bars inside detention centers like prison As described.
I just wanted to work and live in Muslim countries ... but I did not find what I was expecting
Here is the story of a 31-year-old immigrant from Nigeria in a Libyan detention center, in a tumultuous voice begging the Nigerian government and European governments to look into the situation of Nigerian migrants in Libya.
The immigrant says that she was studying in her homeland Nigeria, before smugglers told her there, that they would send her to work as a housekeeper in Libya in order to get money.
The migrants describe their journey from Nigeria to Tripoli via Sabha, saying they were mistreated by the smugglers, who says they do not care about our lives or our future. They only think about money. Passers of the Libyan border from Nigeria pay 7,000 Libyan dinars, equivalent to 2 million Naira Nigerians, they are paying this amount in order to reach Libya in illegal ways by smuggling across the land border. Some are seeking to complete their way to the shores of Europe and some of them want to stay and work in Libya in order to earn money and then leave for Europe.
Migrants are treated very badly and are beaten with or without reasons by these smugglers
She continued to call on Nigeria to close its borders and not to allow any Nigerian citizen to cross the border into Libya again, in view of what had happened to her during her journey that she had been exploited by smugglers and forced to work in prostitution in order to earn money, Many migrant women are being enslaved and exploited by smugglers.
With a voice filled with sadness and regret, these immigrants begged not to be allowed to go to Libya again.
All of this is not from the Libyan people, but from the Nigerian people
Stressing that in the course of her talk that those who send them to work in prostitution in Libya and those who enslave them in order to make money are men and women from Nigeria and not Libya.
Emmanuel, 35, from Nigeria, says he came to Libya to paint the roofs and walls. This was what Emmanuel wanted before he was arrested along with other Nigerian migrants by the Libyan authorities (some armed groups). And from here began his story in Libya, saying that we were surprised and thought we were in good hands with the Libyan authorities and were supposed to treat as humans ..!
Emanuel says about the treatment he received there. I know very well that they are not psychologists or philosophers anyway. They are just militias, but what we expected was not what they gave us. As a human being, I know my rights and the way they treated us inside the camp was not fair.
We were treated there not as human beings but as animals, treating us and looking at us always as that we are animals and not human beings like them
They see that we are dying but they don’t care and don’t want to hear our voice, we cry from the intensity of the pain every day but still they couldn’t care less, we pray to God to save us and get us out of this country to another country, each of us must be treated with respect as an individual and as a nationality.
We know that what they have done is against basic human rights. Everyone has the right to be treated like a human being and not like animals. Even the food they gave us "even animals need to eat three times a day”. "The food that is given to us is not even enough for a child for one day”, but we have gone through it because we do not trust anyone but God, who knows the pain we experience and can only be saved by him.
I ask one of the Nigerians and other nationalities, for example Ghana or Ivory Coast, they will say the same thing 100% because we all live under the same circumstances. When we return to our countries we will tell our children and grandchildren that we did not come to the country to steal or accuse their women. We came only to move for a better situation than in our country, we didn’t leave our homeland and we do have the strength to work hard and live a decent life.
I hope that the government of the country can create the opportunity for every citizen, so everyone can live a better life, but not in violation of the law. We have our hands to do it. That's why we're going to look for work, Emmanuel said, but they forbid us to work, breathing or even seeing the sun, and that is what they have done to us here, and they are against human rights and against the rights that God has given to mankind.
This is part of my story, so he says and continues: When I return to our homeland, we will make a memorandum to the Supreme Court and raise cases against them. We are not terrorists or criminals. We are refugees and immigrants only to another country. Because we can’t find a place in our country. And I will go back to my homeland, even if I do not have one dinar to feed myself, I have peace in my country, no one will come to hit me like a dog again, and no one will treat me like goats, and no one will say to me:
Do not look at the sun and do not go out to breath
As increasing numbers of migrants cross the Libyan border in recent years, the Libyan authorities are trying to deal with it and control the huge human flow from sub-Saharan Africa before reaching their last stop and crossing the sea to European shores. Some of the migrants are also caught in the sea by the Coast Guard and the security of Libyan ports as they try to cross into Italian shores.
The Libyan Ministry of Interior, through the Anti-Illegal Immigration Agency, provides a number of (accommodation centers) in different areas. The migrants are gathered in these centers until they are deported in cooperation with some related international organizations or the embassies of the countries of migrants detained in these centers.
According to the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) report, in September 14, 2017, 423,394 migrants are registered in 22 districts identified in 99 municipalities out of 100 and 525 out of 675 Localities.
The most prominent areas in which migrants are present in this report are Tripoli with 18%, Misurata 17%, and Al-Muraqqab 11%. While the rest of the migrants are distributed around Libya in varying proportions.
The percentage of adults among the displaced was 92%, while the minors were 8%. Men accounted for 88% of the total, and 12% for women.
According to the report, migrants in Libya were of 38 different nationalities. The most common nationalities among them were Niger 19%, Egypt 18%, Chad 15%.
The percentage of migrants from North Africa was 31%, from sub-Saharan Africa 62%, while the rest were from outside the continent. The percentage of immigrants from the Middle East was 2% And from other regions by 5%.