The Address | Benghazi – Libya
MISURATA – Ten consecutive days passed since a cargo ship reached the port of Misurata, carrying 95 migrants who were intercepted at sea in the attempt to reach Europe. The migrants subsequently refused to disembark the boat onto Libyan soil.
Although on 14 November, a total of 14 individuals, including a woman and a three-month-old baby, voluntarily disembarked the vessel, yet the remaining 81 migrants are still refusing to leave.
According to a UN statement quoted by AFP news agency, they are from Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Somalia.
“How come you want me to leave the ship and stay in Libya?” Sudanese migrant Biktor, 17, asked when speaking to Reuters news agency earlier in the week. “We agree to go to any place but not Libya.”
Biktor said his brother and friend had both died at the hands of smugglers in a smuggling centre south of Tripoli.
Italian news agency Askanews on Monday released a video showing an Eritrean migrant named Christian Igussol speaking about their conditions and why they refuse to leave.
“I come from Eritrea, my name is Christian Igussol. I’m in Libya since 2016,” Igussol began saying, “They sold me three times, they punished me, even my brother and he died in my arms. I have seen many things, how can I land?”
“If I disembark from this ship, they kill me. They can do whatever they want, but I will not go down. Even if they do not feed me, if they do not give me anything. This is my decision.” he said before adding, “Not only my decision but that of all our brothers, all the 79 who are here, we will not die until death. We need a solution. We need a solution. A solution quickly because we are in bad condition.”
“If you saw the conditions, I swear to you that … even for a microsecond … nobody can live in this country, and all that we have seen.” He said
Igussol called upon humanitarian organizations to help the migrants and resolve this issue.
“Everyone prefers to die here instead of going down because it’s dangerous, if we go down, they will kill us, they will do everything. We are waiting for a humanitarian organization to help us solve this problem.”
Since 2014, more than 4,000 migrants died in their attempts to cross the Mediterranean. Militias in western Libya have been accused by international organizations of human-trafficking and arbitrary detention of migrants.
Interior Minister of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord, Fathi Bashagha, who has ties to militias such as those affiliated with the so-called Libya Dawn, has failed so far to put forward any solution to migrant crisis or demonstrate any improvement in their detention conditions at the very least.